Manager Suggests Islam Makhachev’s Next Fight Will Be Against Justin Gaethje

Islam Makhachev is set to defend his title against Justin Gaethje. This news comes straight from Makhachev’s manager, Ali Abdelaziz.

The Ultimate Fighting Championship’s lightweight title picture is currently a bit unclear. Makhachev has already expressed his preference in defending his belt against Gaethje over former opponents Charles Oliveira and Arman Tsarukyan.

Dana White recently announced a matchup between Oliveira and Tsarukyan for UFC 300 on April 13. The winner gets a next title shot against the champ, who is expected to return after Ramadan.

Abdelaziz believes the title picture makes it obvious that Gaethje deserves the next shot against Makhachev. Makhachev also continues to chase that matchup.

Justin Gaethje is a guy that never wants something to be given to him. He earned it with sweat, blood, and tears inside the cage. Islam Makhachev is very interested in fighting him. “Doesn’t matter who, when, and how. I’ll fight anybody they give me,” he says. Justin Gaethje has earned it and Islam is really excited about fighting him, says the Dominance MMA CEO.

Makhachev himself has since laid out a plan for his next three bouts. He plans to face Gaethje at a pay-per-view event in June. After that, he’ll square off against the Oliveira-Tsarukyan winner in November.

Gaethje is currently on a two-fight winning streak. He bounced back from a title loss against Oliveira. The BMF titleholder’s only other loss since 2018 came in a title fight against Makhachev’s mentor and teammate, Khabib Nurmagomedov, at UFC 254.

Meanwhile, Makhachev dethroned Oliveira in October 2022. He has since defended his strap twice against featherweight champ Alexander Volkanovski.

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