Islam Makhachev is open to fighting Conor McGregor despite not considering him at his level: "Make good money"

Islam Makhachev (left) reveals that he is now open to facing Conor McGregor (right) than he was in the past [Image Courtesy: @ufc via X/Twitter]

Islam Makhachev has revealed his openness to fighting Conor McGregor, having singled the Irishman out as a good payday in a recent sitdown with ESPN MMA. The interview was shared on YouTube, and featured Makhachev touching on numerous topics.

Among those topics was whether he was open to facing the Irishman at some point in the future. Makhachev replied:

"We in the different level right now. Beat him, make good money and that's it, but I don't think he's a my level fighter."

However, when asked by interviewer Brett Okamoto, if he'd prefer either a matchup with McGregor in the octagon or a team vs. team clash in a street fight, Makhachev seemed decided.

"Team versus team is gonna be more interesting because already Khabib beat him in the cage, beat his corner. But team versus team, maybe we can make Ultimate Fighter."

Check out Islam Makhachev's thoughts on facing Conor McGregor (8:30 and 10:17):


Makhachev, however, has a tough opponent to beat before a matchup with McGregor can materialize. He headlines UFC 302 this Saturday, where he defends his lightweight belt against a gutsy Dustin Poirier. While the Dagestani star is supremely confident, Poirier has warned him against overlooking him.

Furthermore, McGregor must overcome a game Chandler at UFC 303, as a loss would almost definitely be catastrophic for the Irishman's stardom and the direction of his future as an MMA fighter.

Islam Makhachev's coach once spoke about a Conor McGregor bout

In late 2023, American Kickboxing Academy head coach Javier Mendez, who trains Islam Makhachev, touched on a potential matchup between his star pupil and Conor McGregor. The AKA coach seemed indecisive, claiming that it would not help Makhachev build the kind of legacy he wants.

"It would be interesting for Islam, because he gets to do what Khabib didn't finish. He gets to come back and get on the same journey Khabib did, and it's a great payday for Islam. I think it's great for Islam wants it. If he doesn't, then maybe going for the welterweight title is more appealing to him to create a legacy he wants, cause beating Conor is not gonna create the kind of legacy that Islam wants."

Check out Javier Mendez talk about Islam Makhachev vs. Conor McGregor (11:45):


With Makhachev's revelation, McGregor would certainly jump at the opportunity to recapture his old belt and add more fuel to the fire of a possible rematch with Khabib Nurmagomedov.

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