‘You Can’t Hide’- Islam Makhachev Sends a Message to the Lightweight Division After a Dominant Win Over Thiago Moises

Published 07/18/2021, 5:30 AM EDT


Islam Makhachev made a successful return to the Octagon in the main event of UFC Fight Night: Makhachev vs Moises. The Dagestani fighter earned a fourth-round submission finish. This was his second submission win this year. He previously won against Drew Dober at UFC 259.

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Makhachev has certainly earned the right to call out a top-ranked opponent next. He issued a warning to the rest of the lightweight division in his post-fight interview. The Russian specifically called out the former lightweight champion, Rafael Dos Anjos for a fight next.

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Why do all these guys run, nobody wanna take this fight, please give me answer. You took this fight with RDA before 2 weeks, now I am gonna give him 3-4 month. Let’s do this. Hey guys, you can run but you can’t hide. I am coming, I am here,” said Makhachev.

Makhachev was previously scheduled to fight Dos Anjos. But an injury meant that fight had to be canceled. He has been gunning to get that fight re-booked since. And with two back-to-back dominant performances, he has certainly earned his right to call for a fight against the Brazilian again.

CALGARY, AB – JULY 28: Islam Makhachev of Russia celebrates after his submission victory over Kajan Johnson of Canada in their lightweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at Scotiabank Saddledome on July 28, 2018 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Makhachev showed a new layer to his game in this fight as well. He dominated Moises on the feet and then took the fight to the ground, which is his territory. It was a dominant showing from him, to say the least.

Who should Islam Makhachev fight next?

Makhachev is expected to fight one more time before the end of the year. And needless to say, he deserves a cream of the crop opponent next. A fight against Dos Anjos certainly makes sense. The Brazilian is a big name and will give Makhachev the perfect platform to showcase himself to the world.

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LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – MARCH 06: (R-L) Islam Makhachev works for a submission against Drew Dober in their lightweight fight during the UFC 259 event at UFC APEX on March 06, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

Also, because they were actually set for a fight before, the contest makes even more sense. Makhachev certainly showcased himself in his first main event. Who is next for him in the Octagon, remains to be seen.

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Apratim Banerjee

1022 articles

Apratim Banerjee is an MMA author for EssentiallySports and has been writing professionally for almost a year. Before his current gig, Apratim worked as a UFC writer for Sportskeeda. A long-time MMA fan, Apratim has developed a critical eye for the sport that has helped him transfer his vast knowledge to his copies and give hardcore and casual readers a detailed insight into the fights and fighters.

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