Islam Makhachev Unfazed By Current Ranking On The UFC’s P4P List

At UFC 284 this past weekend, the nearly flawless Dagestani faced one of the toughest first title defenses a new MMA champion has ever had to endure in hostile territory.

Makhachev was ranked No. 2 pound-for-pound by the UFC’s official rankings’ panel after his victory over Charles Oliveira at UFC 280 in October 2022, with only Volkanovski ahead of him.

While Makhachev overcame the Aussie by a close unanimous decision, he was still ranked below his fellow champion in the most recent update.

“The journey home is always good, no matter how far you fly,” Makhachev told Russian media upon returning to Dagestan. “As for the rankings, I never expected justice and still don’t, because we’ve seen with other fighters like Magomed Ankalaev and Petr Yan the attitude toward us has always been biased.”

Makhachev’s case differs from Ankalaev and Yan in that the judges did not ultimately award them victories in their respective fights. Petr Yan, the top light heavyweight contender, lost to Sean O’Malley by split decision at UFC 280, while Magomed Ankalaev  fought Jan Blachowicz to a split draw at UFC 282 in December. Both decisions were controversial.

After winning the lightweight title, Makhachev immediately called for a fight against featherweight champ Alexander Volkanovski in Australia. Given the buzz surrounding the outcome of Makhachev’s recent bout, a rematch between the two fighters could be in the cards.

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