Team Khabib Lays Out P4P Demands for Islam Makhachev to Dethrone Jon Jones After LW Champ’s Dominant Finish of Alexander Volkanovski at UFC 294

Published 10/22/2023, 10:22 AM EDT

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Continuing his dominance in the lightweight division, Islam Makhachev shocked the world with his first-round finish against Alexander Volkanovski – a man who remained undefeated in the promotion against anyone he fought, except Makhachev. The win helped the fighter secure his grip on the featherweight crown, but it looks like Team Khabib’s ambitions aren’t going to stop here.

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Before this encounter, the two men had previously locked horns in the main event of UFC 284 in Australia. Although Makhachev got his hand raised there as well, Volkanovski made the fight look very competitive. This led to many doubting the fighter’s ability to defend his crown. However, with this victory, the former Sambo world champion’s critics have got their answer, and for this, Team Khabib demands more than just the 155lb gold.

Islam Makhachev and team Khabib eyes the pound-for-pound throne

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In the main event of 294, Islam Makhachev made his second successful title defense against featherweight king Alexander Volkanovski. As anticipated, the match started out strong, with both parties looking powerful on their feet. But late in the second round, Makhachev found a gap with his head kick, knocking the Aussie out. For those unaware, the matchup had the UFC lightweight strap on the line, which Makhachev continues to hold.

But this isn’t the only accolade that the Dagestani demands for himself, as Team Khabib’s demands stretch to the pound-for-pound crown. Putting forward this demand, Makhachev’s manager, Ali Abdelaziz, wrote, “Al Hamdulillah, pound-for-pound king, no question.” For those unaware, the position is currently held by the alleged MMA GOAT Jon Jones. Making his much-awaited octagon return, the fighter captured the UFC heavyweight strap in his divisional debut.

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This makes Jones one of the few fighters who has held UFC titles in two divisions. A feat Makhachev’s UFC 294 opponent, Alexander Volkanovski, was aiming for going up against him. However, according to Abdelaziz, his client and friend has done enough to replace ‘Bones’ from his throne. Nonetheless, as of the writing of this article, Makhachev currently sits third in the rankings, sitting below both Volkanovski and Jones. And although the Dagestani has aced his recent test, a new challenge might be on the horizon.

Not Justin Gaethje, this former champion might be the next challenge for Makhachev

Even before the dust of his recent octagon duel could settle, fans are already speculating about the next opponent for Islam Makhachev. According to many, this might be Justin Gaethje, a man who currently holds the UFC’s resurrected BMF strap. However, Dana White would beg to differ. While addressing the question on the matter during the post-fight conference of UFC 294, White forwarded his opinion.

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According to the UFC chairman, instead of Gaethje, it’s former champion Charles Oliveira who deserves to fight for the title next. For those unaware, it was Oliveira who was scheduled to face Islam at UFC 294. However, due to an injury sustained during the fight camp, the fighter pulled out. Nevertheless, it looks like his boss wouldn’t overlook him in anyone else’s favor.

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Written by:

Aditya Vaibhav

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Aditya Vaibhav is a UFC writer at EssentiallySports. Aditya’s love for MMA started watching Chuck Liddell in 2009. Since then, he has also come to admire the likes of Carlos Condit and Chris Weidman.
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Edited by:

Vishav

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