UFC lightweight contender Islam Makhachev trolled divisional rival Justin Gaethje over his recent criticism regarding his UFC ranking.
After defeating Thiago Moises for his eighth straight win inside the Octagon, Makhachev improved to 9-1 overall in the UFC and he was bumped all the way to No. 5 in the rankings. Considering Makhachev was ranked far lower before the Moises fight — who was ranked just No. 14 — it surprised a lot of fans and media when Makhachev was bumped so high up the rankings. Obviously, he is a very talented fighter who some believe could be a future UFC champion. But beating someone ranked low like Moises didn’t necessarily earn Makhachev his spot in the top-five, shooting past vets like Rafael dos Anjos on the way.
If you ask No. 2 ranked Gaethje, it took him by surprise when Makhachev jumped so high up the ranks. Speaking in a recent interview with Helen Yee, Gaethje said that even though Makhachev is a fellow Dominance MMA client, he’s still surprised by his high ranking.
“I like Dan. I like to watch him fight. But it will be good to see Islam fight someone ranked higher. It was crazy to see — we have the same management and all that — but to see the dude jump from 15 or 12 to 5 after beating the No. 14 guy was pretty crazy to me. So yeah, I’m glad to see him fight an actual ranked fighter,” Gaethje said.
In response, Makhachev took to his social media to troll Gaethje over his comments.
Hey @Justin_Gaethje you not happy I’m getting next to you in rankings?
Makhachev takes on Dan Hooker at UFC 267 later this month. A week later, Gaethje fights Michael Chandler at UFC 268. There is definitely a chance that these two could end up fighting in the near future, and it appears there is already heat building up between them.
Do you agree with Justin Gaethje that Islam Makhachev is ranked too highly at 155lbs?