Islam Makhachev Sends an Ultimatum, Discloses Timeline for Next Fight With Serious Condition in Place

Published 12/28/2023, 10:00 PM EST

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If Islam Makhachev doesn’t get a title defense in March, fans will have to wait a while to see him fight. Or at least that’s pretty much what the lightweight champion recently declared. Infamous for not calling out his own opponents, Islam Makhachev is just waiting for someone to step up to him. But who will it be?

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So far, fighters like Colby Covington have called Makhachev out. While a fight with ‘Chaos’ seems far-fetched, Makhachev’s scrabble in the cage soon isn’t completely out of this realm. He has a potential storyline awaiting him against Charles Oliveira but will the fight finally materalize? Here’s what the champ just revealed to the world.

Islam Makhachev wants to fight in March

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That’s right, Makhachev has set his mind to the few months his next fight could be. The Dagestani is a devout Muslim and looks forward to celebrating Ramadan with his family. This year, Ramadan is expected to begin around the 10th of March.

What does this mean for the fighter? It means not being able to maintain his weight as he observes Ramadan. So for a whole month from March to April 9th-10th, Makhachev would be unfit for a fight. This means either he fights in early March, or way after UFC 300.

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“I’ll be ready to smash someone in March, or see you after Ramadan” he announced on his X profile. Clearly, a man who takes his faith seriously. It is a shame that the champion didn’t call anyone out, but it also makes sense when he is sitting at the top.

Charles Oliveira failed to get his fight against Makhachev at UFC 294. Instead, Makhachev got to prove to Alexander Volkanovski who the champ was. However, ‘Volk’ was ill-prepared too. So could a rematch between the two interest the fans? There’s no way to tell. We know ‘The Great’ is currently set to fight Illia Topuria next. So perhaps we could turn the dial to someone else. Any guesses?

Justin Gaethje is waiting by the phone

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When Makhachev took down Volkanovski with a head kick, everyone was impressed. However, for Justin Gaethje, it was a challenge, a war of the head kicks ready to be fought. He took to his X earlier and asked the UFC to make the match happen.

“He Said He Wanted to Fight 3X Next and Now He’s Saying This?” – Islam Makhachev Backtracks on Earlier Claims and Fans Just Can’t Stop Belittling Him After Justin Gaethje Remark

“Waiting on the call. Ready when you are @ufc, @danawhite. Let’s see who can kick the other’s head off first @MAKHACHEVMMA. ‘Do Bronx’ had his shot and didn’t show up for the rematch. It is what it is,” Gaethje wrote in the X post. And no one can deny his authority over striking.

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Gaethje and Makhachev would certainly make for an excellent matchup. And with Oliveira dropping out of the last bout and Volkanovski losing, perhaps it is time for Gaethje to get his shot. Who would your bets be on and why? Do tell us in the comments below.

Watch This Story: Conor McGregor Fires Shots At P4P King Islam Makhachev As He Surpasses Jon Jones 

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Written by:

Prit Chauhan

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I'm Prit Chauhan, and I'm a UFC writer at EssentiallySports. I've been in the writing business for three years, covering areas like mass media marketing, and even tried my hand at fiction. My experience includes research work at the University of California, Berkeley, which helps me spin fact-based stories about the world of Mixed Martial Arts effortlessly.
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Edited by:

Joyita Das

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