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“I Don’t See a Reason to Continue Fighting” – Islam Makhachev Warns He’ll Retire Unless Fight Demands Involving Colby Covington Are Met

Published 11/19/2023, 12:33 AM EST

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Islam Makhachev, much like his mentor Khabib Nurmagomedov, has conquered the lightweight division. Now, he’s aiming to go up against the winner of the Colby Covington vs. Leon Edwards fight for the welterweight title. However, if Makhachev does not get that fight, he recently mentioned that he might consider hanging up his gloves.

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UFC 296 will have Colby Covington headline the event alongside Leon Edwards. Although ‘Rocky’ was opposed to this fight, Dana White made it official, anyway. Meanwhile, Islam Makhachev has his sights set on the 170 lbs gold as he shared his opinion on the idea of fighting ‘Chaos’, who recently called him out.

Islam Makhachev shares his thoughts on a fight against Colby Covington


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The reigning lightweight champion, Makhachev, recently had an interview with a Russian media outlet. There, the interviewer mentioned how Colby Covington had called him out for a fight and wanted to know what Islam Makhachev thought about a fight against him. The 32-year-old said it would be one of his most interesting matchups ever. “Well, that’s [he vs Covington] definitely going to be an interesting fight, because he’ll talk a lot and there will be much noise around the fight,” said Islam Makhachev. (Translated by ‘Young ‘n’ Faded MMA Society’)

However, Islam Makhachev does not believe his fight against Colby Covington will be the biggest fight ever. Makhachev said, “I don’t know if it will be on the level of Khabib vs Conor, but it’ll be huge, that I can say.” Moreover, the Dagestan native also stated that he only wants to fight for the title from now on.


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Makhachev’s interest lies in a fight for the title

When the Russian interviewer asked Islam Makhachev about the possibility of him moving to the welterweight division, the lightweight champion responded positively. The 32-year-old mentioned that he does not want to miss out on the opportunity to go to the 170 lbs division. Makhachev further said, “If they offer me that [Covington fight], then yes, 100 percent. I’m not going to miss out on such an opportunity.”

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He also mentioned that money is not a motivating factor for him. Islam Makhachev believes that he can continue to make money easily by continuing to fight as a lightweight. However, the real reason he continues to pursue his professional fighting career is to be a champion. “I’m not interested in fighting anybody for some money, without a belt. I can make money in my own weight class, anyway,” Makhachev further stated.


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Moreover, Islam Makhachev doubled down on his aim to become a double champion like many others before him. If that does not happen in the future, he might consider retiring from MMA. “Yes, certainly [on wanting to become double champion]. 100 percent. Or else, I don’t see a reason to continue fighting anymore,” the lightweight champion added.


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Islam Makhachev has the chance to surpass his mentor Khabib Nurmagomedov, and create an even bigger legacy for himself in the UFC. And he wants to do that by conquering another division. However, he may not get to fight Colby Covington, even though he thinks it would be an interesting matchup. It remains to be seen who comes out on top in the main event of UFC 296 and what Dana White decides to do with Makhachev in the not-so-distant future.

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Written by:

Himanga Mahanta


One take at a time

I am a UFC writer at EssentiallySports, and my passion for MMA and a deep understanding of its intricacies have allowed me to churn out more than 1000 articles. I have covered numerous UFC events and fighters, with the aim of bringing my readers closer to the action and the athletes they admire. I have developed a knack for providing analytical coverage of breaking stories from the world of MMA.
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Edited by:

Yeswanth Praveen