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Islam Makhachev rules out fight with Max Holloway ahead of UFC 302 return: 'I need opponents from my division'


Ahead of his return next month at UFC 302, undisputed lightweight champion Islam Makhachev has once again pulled out of a fight with recent BMF titleholder Max Holloway, saying he needs to focus on opponents in his division first.

Makhachev, the reigning undisputed lightweight champion and reigning pound-for-pound number one, is scheduled to headline UFC 302 early next month in New Jersey, taking on future common foe, former interim titleholder Dustin Poirier. .

Islam Makhachev refused a title fight with Max Holloway: I don’t want to give him a chance
Mandatory credit: Chris Unger – Zuffa LLC

As for Hawaii favorite Holloway, the former featherweight gold winner featured on the UFC 300 main card last month, coming off an impressive knockout win over former interim lightweight champion Justin Gaethje.

Islam Makhachev rules out the possibility of a title fight with Max Holloway

And weighing up the possibility of taking on Makhachev as he appears to have plenty of title fights to choose from following his token title win over Gaethje, Holloway's chances of challenging for gold at 155 pounds were ultimately snuffed out by the Russian. .

Max Holloway Justin Gaethje knocks out UFC 300 Reaction from UFC professionals 1024x587 1Max Holloway Justin Gaethje knocks out UFC 300 Reaction from UFC professionals 1024x587 1

“To be honest, Max (Holloway) works in his own department,” Islam Makhachev said during a speech on Good Guy/Bad Guy. “I don’t want to give Max a chance because people are still talking about me not defending my belt against the lightweight guys.”

“I need real opponents from my division,” explained Islam Makhachev. “I want to clear my division and fight for the welterweight (championship).”

And hoping to fight for the welterweight title, which, as mentioned, is a staple of the American Kickboxing Academy, Makhachev has promised to fight current gold winner Leon Edwards – once he finishes his bout against veteran Lafayette Poirier.

Islam Makhachev gave the UFC an ultimatum: “Ready to crash in March or see you after Ramadan”Islam Makhachev gave the UFC an ultimatum: “Ready to crash in March or see you after Ramadan”
Mandatory credit: Zuffa LLC

Last competing at UFC 294 last October in Abu Dhabi, Makhachev scored a dominant win over former featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski in a doubles rematch thanks to a knockout victory in the Middle East.

Who will win in potential Title fight: Islam Makhachev or Max Holloway?


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