Khabib Nurmagomedov, Islam Makhachev, Justin Gaethje Weighing In On Who Deserves Next Lightweight Title Shot
After Khabib Nurmagomedov retired from the professional MMA, lots of things changed in the lightweight division.
Nurmagomedov, Islam Makhachev and Justin Gaethje are talking a lot on social media to prove who deserves to be the next title challenger.
“Makhachev fought No. 14, went to No. 5 and fought a late replacement in Dan Hooker,” Gaethje said on the UFC Unfiltered podcast. “It wasn’t Dan Hooker on a full camp. It does not count as much, but still, it’s two top 15 guys, none in the top five, only one in the top 10. That’s not how this sh-t works.
“Do your f-cking job, fight these guys, and Beneil Dariush is right here. And I like the dude, he’s my friend, so you know I’m just going to jump over this man and expect to get a title shot when the No. 3 guy is Beneil Dariush. Handle that. That has to be handled,” he added.
Long-time veteran and experienced fighter Brazilian jiu-jitsu master Charles Oliveira became the champion of the lightweight division, and many prospects have the ambition of fighting for the title.
Justin Gaethje and Islam Makhachev are prospects who are close to their title shot.
Makhachev made nine in a row when he defeated the No. 6 ranked contender, Dan Hooker, when Hooker agreed on the fight on short notice.
However, just a week after the performance, Gaethje held war with former title challenger and Bellator champion Michael Chandler.
While Gaethje argues that Makhachev should fight with more ranked top contenders, the Dagestanian side has its arguments.
Nurmagomedov said that Makhachev won nine fights in a row, and anyone who will earn nine victories in a row in the UFC deserves a title shot. He also said that Gaethje already had the chance of winning the title and got slept by a champion, which was Nurmagomedov at the time.
However, Makhachev himself says that no one agreed to fight him in the top rankings, so it is not his fault that fighters do not want to share the octagon with him.