UFC 294: Islam Makhachev Looking For Second Belt

UFC 294 will see Islam Makhachev defend his lightweight belt against featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski. And while he is focused on the task at hand, Makhachev is looking towards the future and a run at the welterweight title.

UFC 294: Islam Makhachev Looking Towards Welterweight Title Run

For Islam Makhachev, the idea of becoming a two-division champion is exciting.

Makhachev defends his lightweight title Saturday at UFC 294 against featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski. The bout is a rematch set for Abu Dhabi live on ESPN+ pay-per-view.

And while the logical choice for a next title defense – assuming he wins – would be Charles Oliveira, Makhachev is not really excited about that.

Oliveira was forced out of the planned bout with an injury.

“I think like now it’s a rematch, a second fight with Oliveira, it’s not so good for the legacy,” Makhachev said (thanks to MMA Fighting for the quotes). “I need some new names, a second belt.”

Having previously mentioned a possible move to welterweight, that now seems to be on the mind of the champion. He even mentioned the upcoming title fight scheduled for UFC 296 between Leon Edwards and Colby Covington.

“If they call me, I will be ready for Colby or Leon,” Makhachev said. “(I’m ready for) any fights. But my dream, my goal, I want a second belt.

“I don’t (know) who will win, but I hope Colby wins.”

Makhachev and Covington have been engaged in a war of words as of late. Covington, a former interim champion, has challenged him to move up ahead of his quest to dethrone Edwards.

For the 31-year-old Makhachev, this will mark his second title defense after successfully defeating Volkanovski at UFC 284 this past February. He won the vacant belt with a submission of Oliveira last October and is 24-1 overall.

UFC 294: Islam Makhachev Vs. Alexander Volkanovski

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