"I don't see that happening anytime soon" - Islam Makhachev's quest to become two-division champ put on hold by Dana White despite UFC 294 finish

Dana White (Left) and Islam Makhachev (Right) [Images via: @ufc on X and Getty]
Dana White (Left) and Islam Makhachev (Right) [Images via: @ufc on X and Getty]

Islam Makhachev defended his lightweight championship against Alexander Volkanovski in their rematch at UFC 294. This was Volkanovski's second attempt at achieving double-champ status.

While Makhachev won the first fight at UFC 284 via unanimous decision, several fans and MMA experts believed that Volkanovski had done enough to get his hand raised in the back-and-forth fight. Going into UFC 294, Makhachev was determined to quell any lingering doubts and deliver a statement-making performance.

In a stunning display, the Dagestani did precisely that by scoring a resounding first-round knockout victory over Volkanovski. Makhachev masterfully set the stage for this decisive moment with a sequence of punishing body kicks that cleverly concealed the impending head kick, which served as the exclamation point on his emphatic victory.

Leading up to UFC 294, Makhachev claimed that he aims to build his legacy differently. He envisions a second UFC title rather than repeatedly defeating the same opponents.

Makhachev hinted at the possibility of moving up to the welterweight division to potentially face the winner of the UFC 296 main event featuring Leon Edwards and Colby Covington. He also claimed that he hopes Covington wins, paving the way for a future showdown.

UFC CEO Dana White was questioned about the possibility of Islam Makhachev vying for a second title. While he didn't outright dismiss the idea, he attached a condition that the Dagestani fighter must fulfill before such an opportunity would be extended to him. White stated:

"I don't see that happening any time soon, but if he defends the belt for another year and wanted to move up, why not?"

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Edited by Abhishek Nambiar
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