ONE lightweight sensation and boogeyman of his division, Saygid Izagakhmaev is making good on his promise to take over the lightweight division. Since debuting in the promotion earlier this year, the Dagestani wrestler has been on a dominant three-fight romp at lightweight, capped off by a blitzing knockout of former ONE lightweight king and MMA icon Shinya Aoki at ONE 163.
In his post-fight speech, Izagakhmaev demanded a world title shot next, and it's going to be hard to deny his wishes, given how dominant he's been. Izagakhmaev doesn't just carry the flag of Dagestan, Russia, but also the pride of his dominant team. His stable includes the aforementioned Khabib Nurmagomedov, new Bellator lightweight champion Usman Nurmagomedov, and the newly-crowned UFC lightweight champion Islam Makhachev.
Speaking of Makhachev, Izagakhmaev was offended by what Christian Lee said about his teammates and the UFC champion. Apparently, Lee stated in an interview that he could beat Makhachev in a fight. In his ONE 163 post-fight media scrum, Saygid Izagakhmaev had something to say to the ONE lightweight and welterweight world champion:
"I mean what can I say? He [Lee] can say whatever he wants. He can say he wants whoever. But everything is up to the decision of the organization. He can’t jump over me and go somewhere else. He needs to face me, so let him want it."
Though it's highly unlikely that Lee and Makhachev will ever fight in the same cage due to contractual obligations, it is quite an intriguing bout. Still, 'The Warrior' shouldn't look past Izagakhmaev, who poses just as much, if not more, danger than the UFC lightweight champion.
Watch Saygid Izagakhmaev's post-fight interview here:
Christian Lee claims he can beat Saygid Izagakhmaev's teammate, UFC lightweight champ Islam Makhachev
In an appearance on the MMA Junkie podcast, ONE lightweight and welterweight world champion Christian 'The Warrior' Lee spoke about the climate of the lightweight division today across all major organizations. Lee gave a hypothetical scenario where if we put all four major lightweight world champions in a tournament today (Usman Nurmagomedov, Raush Manfio, Islam Makhachev and himself), he would come out on top.
'The Warrior' saw him and Makhachev reaching the finals, where he will "for sure" beat the Dagestani MMA icon:
“Yeah, I think if you were to put the four of us in one tournament, I think for sure it would be me and Islam in the finals. I have a lot of respect for Islam. He had a great performance in capturing the lightweight title. But I believe that I would win that fight, for sure.”
If we're back in the late 90s or early 2000s, such a monumental Grand Prix tournament would have been legendary. Unfortunately, we are now just left to speculate and dream about it. The closest we can get to having Makahachev fighting Lee is through his teammate, Saygid Izagakhmaev.
Watch the full interview here: