Islam Makhachev went all out in his comments in a recent interview with AKA teammate Daniel Cormier. The UFC lightweight champion first put reigning pound-for-pound king Jon Jones on blast, then later denigrated the ‘BMF’ title which Dustin Poirier and Justin Gaethje will fight for.
Islam Makhachev questions Jon Jones’ pound-for-pound ranking
Makhachev already had a problem with the UFC’s ranking system back in February, when Alexander Volkanovski remained at the top spot despite losing to him at UFC 284. At the time, he felt there’d been an “attitude” towards Russian fighters.
In his conversation with Cormier, the 31-year-old Dagestan-based fighter once again voiced out his problems about the current rankings and still believes he should be at the top spot.
“This is bullshit, brother. How Jon Jones can be number one? He beat some guy who is not champion. (Gane) don’t have belt, and they put (Jones) number one pound-for-pound. This is bullshit.”
Cormier then presented a counter-argument, stating the manner in which Jones defeated Ciryl Gane in March to win the vacant belt.
“Doesn’t matter how he beat him. The UFC put him best pound-for-pound. But other people who know about MMA, they know who is the best fighter in the world.
“Don’t call me lightweight champion. Call me pound-for-pound best fighter.”
Islam Makhachev slams ‘BMF’ title
Islam Makhachev was also asked about the upcoming ‘BMF’ title fight between Justin Gaethje and Dustin Poirier at UFC 291. The winner could likely be one of his next challengers, but Islam could not bring himself to respect the symbolic belt.
“This belt for the bums, you know,” he said. “First time, who fight for this belt? Diaz and Masvidal. The people who never can be champion. They give (Masvidal) some belt.
“Guys, be happy. Fight for BMF. What is this? I don’t know. Tell Dana, stop.”
Islam Makhachev also took jabs at Poirier and Gaethje while further disparaging the title saying he wouldn’t accept it if it were given to him.
“Gaethje and Poirier, they fight for the real belt many times. And they always lose. And now Dana, like, good guy give them other belt.
“Honestly, (if) someone give me this belt tomorrow, I don’t want this shit. And never say this fight gonna be (between) lightweight champion and BMF champion. Never say this, OK?”
What’s next for Islam Makhachev?
Islam Makhachev (24-1) last fought at UFC 284, when Volkanovski moved up to challenge him for the title. The UFC has yet to finalize things, but for UFC president Dana White, Makhachev will likely face Charles Oliveira in a rematch after the latter TKOd Beneil Dariush in round one at UFC 289 on Saturday.
“There are a lot of things that go into consideration for the next fight. I’m sitting here talking to you about (Makhachev) right now, I don’t know where he’s at, I don’t know what he’s got planned over the summer. The list goes on and on of things that factor into how fights are made,” White told the media.
“But I’m just telling you right here, right now, it’s a fight I’d like to see again.”
Makhachev and Oliveira (34-9, 1 NC) first fought at UFC 280 last October. The former won via second-round submission, and ultimately snapped Oliveira’s 11-fight win streak.
Join the new Bloody Elbow
Our Substack is where we feature the work of writers like Zach Arnold, John Nash and Karim Zidan. We’re fighting for the sport, the fighters and the fans. Please help us by subscribing today.
About the author