In a rematch of their first fight at UFC 294, Makhachev stopped the Australian with a kick to the head which was followed up by ground and pound strikes in the first round. Thereafter, the referee called off the fight in a performance that put to bed any controversy over the result in the first fight. In the aftermath, the talk turned towards Makhachev’s next possible opponent.
The lightweight called for a title eliminator between Gaethje and Charles Oliveira prior to his fight. Following his win, however, Makhachev ruled out a fight with Oliveira having already beaten the fighter previously, despite being on course to face him before his withdrawal with injury. And with Gaethje still in contention, the BMF title holder was ready to have a crack at getting the lightweight title.
“I’m No. 2, I knocked out Poirier. I mean, Charles Oliveira is ahead of me, but he already lost to Makhachev. I have not fought Makhachev. It’s a fresh matchup, a new matchup, and I think that’s what the fans are looking for. I think [Makhachev] would have beaten Oliveira just the same [as Volkanovski].
“Oliveira beat me, MMA math doesn’t work. I’ve said he’s not Khabib [Nurmagomedov], but he might be, so I just want to go out there and figure it out. I’ve been here for a long time. I’ve been doing this s*** for a long time, but I’ve earned my spot. I knocked out Dustin Poirier. Is Islam Makhachev beatable? I don’t know, but I’m going to give everything as I always have,” Gaethje said
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