UFC lightweight Islam Makhachev wants a top-five ranked opponent for his next fight if he manages to beat Drew Dober at UFC 259 this weekend.
Islam Makhachev is hot property in the 155 lbs division right now and has his sights set on the likes of Tony Ferguson and Rafael dos Anjos next. The Dagestani fighter has six straight wins in the UFC and believes that a finish against Dober this weekend will earn him a fight with a top-ranked opponent next.
On the media day for UFC 259, Islam Makhachev claimed that a win on his much-awaited return to the lightweight division would "change everything". He alluded that a win against Dober will put him in title contention along with the top-ranked fighters in the division at the moment.
Islam Makhachev further said that he will be looking for a finish in the fight and looks forward to fighting top contenders like 'El Cucuy' and dos Anjos thereafter.
" I think, after this fight, if I finish Drew, everything is going to change. Because this is my...it's going to be seven fight win streak and in my division, not a lot of people have a win streak like this. That's why I think that in my next fight, they will give me an opponent from maybe top-five, top-10."
"Maybe RDA. [on who he'd like to fight next] I was supposed to fight him, maybe we can fight the second time. Maybe Tony [Ferguson}, I don't know. Honestly, doesn't matter but if it is someone from the top-five, I will be happy."
Daniel Cormier claims Islam Makhachev has a 'tighter' stand-up than Khabib Nurmagomedov
Former two-division champion Daniel Cormier recently took to Twitter to draw comparisons between Islam Makhachev and his teammate, Khabib Nurmagomedov.
"I believe this man is gonna be the @ufc champion. He is fantastic in every area of mixed martial arts. From day 1 in AKA he could strike with anyone, wrestle anyone and grapple ANY1. I am so excited to call another one of his fights this weekend. Let’s go champ! @islam_makhachev."
According to DC, Makhachev is like Khabib, but with a 'tighter stand-up'. He said that Makhachev could strike, wrestle and grapple with anyone at AKA, from the very first day he joined the team.
Do you think Islam Makhachev will enter the title conversation with a win against Drew Dober at UFC 259? Sound off in the comments.