5 possible next opponents for Islam Makhachev after UFC Vegas 31

Who is next in line for Islam Makhachev?
Who is next in line for Islam Makhachev?
Sai Krishna

The Islam Makhachev juggernaut rolled on at UFC Vegas 31 as the Dagestani recorded a fourth-round submission victory over Thiago Moises in his first UFC main event.

Makhachev got off the blocks slowly as he engaged in range striking with the Brazilian. But he grew into the contest as it progressed, tallying several submission attempts and recording a significant amount of control time over an opponent who was more than willing to grapple with him.

Eventually, an opportunity presented itself in the fourth round, and Makhachev grabbed it with both hands. The 29-year-old locked in a rear-naked choke to become the first man to finish Moises in professional MMA competition, and extended his UFC win streak to eight.

Islam Makhachev has found willing opponents difficult to come by, but the lightweight contenders will certainly have him in their crosshairs as he makes a run for the title. Here are five possible next opponents for Makhachev after his win at UFC Vegas 31.

#5 Islam Makhachev vs Michael Chandler

UFC 262: Charles Oliveira v Michael Chandler
UFC 262: Charles Oliveira v Michael Chandler

Following his win at UFC Vegas 31, Islam Makhachev listed Michael Chandler among his preferred opponents.

After making his UFC debut earlier this year against Dan Hooker, Chandler went on to contest the lightweight title in only his second fight in the promotion. Although he tasted defeat at the hands of Charles Oliveira, there's no doubt that he's one of the best in the division.

Chandler could prove to be the perfect step up in competition for Islam Makhachev, who probably deserves an opponent in the top five. An excellent wrestler in his own right, 'Iron' could be a difficult challenge for Makhachev to overcome - and vice versa.

However, the possibility of Chandler being booked for a fight against Justin Gaethje remains. And with the former Bellator champ having expressed an interest in making a quick run to another championship fight, he may not be entirely willing to take on an opponent ranked well below him.

Also read: Statistics show that Islam Makhachev is the hardest to hit fighter in UFC history by a long margin

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Edited by Sai Krishna
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