Reigning UFC lightweight champion Islam Makhachev, who is set to rematch Charles Oliveira in less than three weeks, wants to challenge the winner of the welterweight title fight between Leon Edwards and Colby Covington after his bout with the Brazilian.
At the same time, the Russian hopes that the American will take the championship belt from the Brit and become his opponent.
“I hope Covington wins, because I don’t know what Leon will say about the fight with me,” Makhachev told ESPN. “I’ve never heard Leon say he wants this fight. But Colby wants it. That’s why I want him to win – then we can face him. It’s going to be a very good fight. He has great wrestling, so it will be an American fight against a Dagestani fight. He is a good fighter with decent wrestling skills and high physical condition, but I will be able to stop his wrestling and I will land a lot of good punches”
“I don’t know what the UFC’s plans are, but my dream is to fight for a second championship belt. Of course, I’m under contract with the UFC and I’ll do what they say, no problem. But I really believe I can beat the winner of the Edwards-Covington fight. I look at their skills and what they have as champions, and I know my skills. It’s going to be a good fight. I’m not saying I’m going to beat them with ease. It’s going to be a tough fight against a big guy. But I believe I can finish any of them.”
Although the Russian fighter is willing to go along with the UFC’s plan, he hopes the organization will take into consideration the fact that his previous title defense was against Alex Volkanovski, who moved up from the featherweight division.
“I gave a guy a chance, so they should give the same chance to me. I gave a chance to a guy from another division who came to my weight, tried to take the belt away from me and lost. I want to get my chance too.”
As a reminder, the fight between Islam Makhachev and Charles Oliveira will headline UFC 294 on October 21 in Abu Dhabi, while Leon Edwards and Colby Covington will headline UFC 296 in Las Vegas on December 16.