Islam Makhachev Next Fight: UFC Lightweight Champ Reveals Return Timeline and Weight Class for 2024

Published 02/04/2024, 3:22 PM EST

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UFC lightweight champion Islam Makhachev has finally revealed the timeline for his return. Championship Rounds recently posted a video on X (formerly Twitter) that showcased Makhachev. The 32-year-old Dagestani fighter has been out of action for quite some time now. He last featured at UFC 294, where he took on Alexander Volkanovski in a rematch for the lightweight championship.

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Makhachev defended his title and asserted his dominance in the lightweight division with a first-round TKO win over ‘ Volk.’ With the champion revealing his timeline for his return, the much-awaited wait is finally over. Let us find out as to when Islam Makhachev will be making his return.

Islam Makhachev reveals he will be back in June/July

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UFC 294 witnessed Makhachev walk out of the Octagon as the lightweight champion. He knocked out Alexander Volkanovski with a solid head kick, showing his versatility as a fighter. However, the win came with its own downfall as Makhachev suffered a serious leg injury, forcing him to stay out of action. With his recent announcement on X, it seems that the champion is now all ready to make a comeback and entertain the fans again. He posted: ” June /July I have next fight. I did just one training every day, nothing like hard. But I’m still training every day because I am a champion, I have to defend my belt, I have to be ready”. 

The 32-year-old currently holds a record of 25-1-0 in his career and is dominating the lightweight division. While Makhachev is the current lightweight champion, he also showed his interest in moving up to the welterweight division. However, it seems the Dagestani fighter is now all geared up to defend his lightweight title again when he steps inside the Octagon. But whom will he face next?

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Whom will Islam Makhachev fight next?

While Islam Makhachev has announced his timeline for a return, he is yet to have any opponent yet. His previous opponent “Volk” has returned to his original weight class (featherweight) after failing to dethrone him. However, there are two fighters who will be eyeing the belt wrapped around the waist of the champion. Arman Tsarukyan and Charles Oliveira are scheduled to face each other at UFC 300. The pair has had a history with Makhachev and both have failed to beat him in previous meetings.

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Both Oliveira and Tsarukyan faced Makhachev at UFC 280 and UFC Fight Night: Overeem vs Oleinik, respectively. Oliveira not only lost his fight but also lost his belt to the 32-year-old. ‘Do Bronx’ could have won back his belt at UFC 294, but pulled out after suffering an injury in training. He will now have to beat Tsarukyan in order to get a title shot against Makhachev again. The 27-year-old is fresh off a victory against Beneil Dariush and will prove to be a tough fight for Oliveira. Whom will Islam Makhachev face next on his return? Let us know in the comments below.

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Written by:

Anirban Chatterjee

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I am Anirban, an MMA enthusiast with the opportunity to combine my fascination for the sport with my professional adventures as a UFC writer at EssentiallySports. Apart from being a professional athlete, MMA and Soccer are sports that I have always enjoyed following. I am a huge fan of ‘The Notorious’ Conor McGregor, and Israel Adesanya.
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Edited by:

Anuj Jacob

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