Makhachev’s comments come after Oliveira was forced to pull out of their bout after suffering from an eye injury during sparring. The injury required numerous stitches, leaving not enough time for the wound to heal. In response, Alexander Volkanovski took the bout on less than two weeks’ notice as they prepare for their rematch on October 21st, 2023, at UFC 294. And provided that Makhachev gets past the Australian, the lightweight champion opened up about a fight between Oliveira and Gaethje.
Makhachev already has a win over Oliveira, having won via a second-round submission at UFC 280. However, the latter bounced back with a win over Beneil Dariush to set up a rematch before the injury. Meanwhile, Gaethje is in impressive form, having stopped Dustin Poirier to win the BMF title. And with nothing left to choose between the two, Makhachev called on the duo to face each other.
“I’m pretty sure that after this fight, there’s already two definite opponents that are ready for a fight with me. I think the two of them should fight each other so we have an actual No. 1 contender for the belt,” Makhachev said
Nevertheless, Oliveira and Gaethje did square off at UFC 274. In that bout, Oliveira beat Gaethje in the first round via a submission. While Gaethje does have a reason to run things back, if the American can secure a title shot against Makhachev instead, that will no doubt take precedent.