A possible candidate for “knockout of the year” is Islam Makhachev, who defeated Alexander Volkanovski at UFC 294. In spite of an abrupt opponent switch, Makhachev showed everyone why he is the current UFC lightweight champion. In the opening round, he felled Volkanovski with a spectacular headkick and finished the fight with devastating blows. The dispute surrounding their first bout at UFC 284—where many fans believed Volkanovski was wrongfully denied a victory—was also resolved by the knockout.
Makhachev has declared that his next goal is to contend for a title in a heavier weight class. He has already engaged Colby Covington in a verbal duel. At UFC 296 Covington will face Leon Edwards for the UFC welterweight title. However, a former UFC champion has now made his decision on Makhachev’s next opponent public. Plus, he’s thrown in an interesting name!
Islam Makhachev has stated that he would be open to competing for a second belt in the future. Following his victory over Volkanovski, Makhachev declared that he would be available to back up UFC 296. “My phone is working,” he said. “Dana call me,” he says, hinting that he’s prepared for the welterweight battle. But Makhachev has another opponent in mind: Daniel Cormier, the former light heavyweight and heavyweight champion of the UFC!
In a YouTube video, Cormier proposed that Islam Makhachev take on Conor McGregor as the next fight. He clarified that his remarks were intended to promote the fight as a major event for the UFC, not to disparage other fighters like Michael Chandler or Justin Gaethje.
Additionally, he thinks Makhachev might become a “superstar” in this bout because other fighters like Dustin Poirier and Khabib Nurmagomedov have benefited much from beating McGregor. He thinks it makes sense to help Makhachev advance to the next phase of his career.
It remains unclear, though, whether the McGregor bout will go place in light of Islam Makhachev’s declarations that he wants to challenge for another title. At UFC 296 Colby Covington, the welterweight championship challenger against Leon Edwards, voiced his thoughts regarding Makhachev and his style of fighting!