Home MMA NewsLatest News Islam Makhachev Rejects BMF Title, Predicts Winner of UFC 291

Islam Makhachev Rejects BMF Title, Predicts Winner of UFC 291

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UFC lightweight champion

Islam Makhachev has no interest in participating in a BMF title fight, expressing his thoughts on the matter ahead of UFC 291. The current reigning and undisputed UFC lightweight champion intends to observe the event alongside the rest of the MMA community when it takes place on July 29 in Salt Lake City, Utah. The highly-anticipated headliner will feature a rematch for the BMF title between former interim titleholders Dustin Poirier and Justin Gaethje, both prominent contenders in the lightweight division.

Makhachev, known for his dedication to the sport, holds strong views as a UFC champion, which explain his reluctance to associate himself with the BMF strap and its involvement in a 155-pound contender bout. In a conversation with Daniel Cormier, he expressed his disinterest, stating, “I don’t want that. This belt is for the bums, you know? The first time, who fought for this belt? Nate Diaz and Jorge Masvidal. People who can never become champions. They were given a belt and told, ‘Guys, be happy. Fight for BMF.’ Bro, what is this? I don’t know. They should have stopped this after that (laughs). It needs to stop.”

Makhachev believes that Gaethje and Poirier, despite their numerous attempts, have always fallen short in their pursuit of the real belt. However, he recognizes Dana White’s decision to award them with another title opportunity, the BMF belt. Makhachev personally has no interest in this belt, stating, “Honestly, if someone gave me this belt tomorrow, I wouldn’t want it. Of course, brother. Keep it away from me. Never say that this fight will be between the lightweight champion and the BMF champion. Never say that, okay?”

It seems likely that Makhachev will face Charles Oliveira in a rematch, following Oliveira’s recent victory over Beneil Dariush at UFC 289. Oliveira is currently on a winning streak after his loss to Makhachev, and both Poirier and Gaethje present strong cases for a title shot, having not faced Makhachev before. The champion’s next title defense is expected to take place at UFC 294 in October, when the promotion returns to Abu Dhabi.

In a previous encounter in April 2018, Poirier defeated Gaethje in what many considered the best fight of that year, securing a fourth-round TKO. Makhachev doesn’t view either potential challenger as significant threats but does have a clear preference between the two. He confidently stated, “I can beat them. I can fight Poirier or Gaethje, but I don’t need this BMF stuff, brother. That’s it. I can easily defeat these guys. I think a better fight for me would be against Gaethje or Poirier because it would attract the fans. But without this belt, please. I can tell Dana, ‘Tell this guy to keep this belt at home and come to the fight.'”

Makhachev predicts that Poirier will emerge victorious in their potential matchup. He sees Poirier’s superior boxing skills as the deciding factor, stating, “What does Gaethje have for Poirier? Nothing. Poirier has better boxing than Gaethje, and that’s it. It’s going to be a boxing match. Gaethje looked good in his fight against Rafael Fiziev, but I believe Poirier is on a different level. Fiziev and Chandler are good fighters but not at the top level.”

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about UFC lightweight champion

Q: Why does Islam Makhachev reject the BMF title?

A: Islam Makhachev rejects the BMF title because he considers it a belt for “bums” and believes it should not be associated with the lightweight division. He views the previous BMF title fight participants, Nate Diaz and Jorge Masvidal, as fighters who can never be champions.

Q: Who will Islam Makhachev be facing next?

A: It is likely that Islam Makhachev will face Charles Oliveira in a rematch. Oliveira recently secured a victory over Beneil Dariush and presents a strong case for a title shot against Makhachev.

Q: How does Islam Makhachev feel about potential challengers Dustin Poirier and Justin Gaethje?

A: Islam Makhachev is confident that he can defeat both Dustin Poirier and Justin Gaethje. While he acknowledges their skills, he believes that neither of them poses a significant threat to him in the lightweight division.

Q: Will the BMF title be involved in future lightweight championship fights?

A: Islam Makhachev strongly expresses his disinterest in any association between the BMF title and the lightweight championship. He believes that the BMF title should be kept separate from the true championship fights and urges Dana White to refrain from mentioning such a pairing.

Q: When is Makhachev expected to defend his title?

A: Islam Makhachev is expected to defend his title at UFC 294 in October when the promotion returns to Abu Dhabi.

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