"I'm still young, still hungry" - Islam Makhachev quashes retirement chatter with definitive statement, shares ambitious plans for UFC career

Islam Makhachev (pictured) details his future plans as lightweight champion [Image Courtesy: @islam_makhachev on Instagram]
Islam Makhachev (pictured) details his future plans as lightweight champion [Image Courtesy: @islam_makhachev on Instagram]

Despite speculations from fans, Islam Makhachev has no plans to retire any time soon. With just two lightweight title defenses under his belt entering his clash with Dustin Poirier at UFC 302, the Dagestani desires to build on his legacy for several more years before hanging up his gloves.

On the May 20 edition of the Weighing In podcast with John McCarthy and Josh Thomson, Makhachev discussed his upcoming fight and career plans in a 42-minute conversation. The 32-year-old told the hosts that he still feels "young" and "hungry" with no current thoughts on retirement.

Makhachev said:

"I don't think about retirement because because I have some [contenders] to deal [with]. I want to take the second belt [and] defend my lightweight belt. I still feel good. When I feel I lose [to] someone [or] I'm not the same, I will think about it. But right now I'm still young, still hungry, still want to be number one."

Makhachev is set to put his 155-pound title on the line on June 1 in Newark, New Jersey in his 27th professional fight. Though he has two high-profile title defenses against Alexander Volkanovski, the upcoming fight with Poirier at UFC 302 will be his first against a full-time lightweight since beating Charles Oliveira at UFC 280 to win the belt.

Less than two weeks out from the fight, Makhachev is a hefty 4-1 favorite to retain his championship against Poirier.

Islam Makhachev details his desire to become a two-division champion

Having held the lightweight title since 2022, Islam Makhachev has been clear on his wish to eventually challenge for the welterweight title soon.

Makhachev told John McCarthy and Josh Thomson during the aforementioned interaction that he has no further desire to fight Ilia Topuria or any other featherweights, feeling he has already allowed a 145-pound champion to chase double champion status. Instead, the Russian wants his shot at a second belt against Leon Edwards.

Makhachev said he would feel comfortable in a fight against Edwards but would not want to face Belal Muhammad as they train together.

Check out Islam Makhachev's comments below:

Edwards and Muhammad are scheduled to compete for the 170-pound title at UFC 304 in Manchester, England.

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