Reigning UFC lightweight champion Islam Makhachev, who knocked out Alexander Volkanovski last weekend at UFC 294 in Abu Dhabi, returned to Russia and answered pressing questions from reporters who met him at the airport in Makhachkala.
In particular, the Russian said that he could return to the octagon in as little as four months.
“The closest tournament to Ramadan will be in early March – if they put it there, then there,” Makhachev said. “So far we have not communicated on this topic. I plan to go to Las Vegas at the end of the year, and then we’ll sit down with the management and talk everything over”
The UFC champion also commented on the news that he failed to dislodge Jon Jones from the top spot in the top fighter rankings regardless of weight class, coming in second on the UFC’s P4P list.
“Who makes these rankings and what for, I don’t know. I’ve beaten No. 1 P4P before, and they didn’t put me at No. 1. And even now they haven’t ranked me, so there’s nothing surprising. Maybe they’ve got some gains of their own. Jones has a fight now, maybe they want to rock him more, something like that. I don’t know any other way to get to number one. If you beat No. 1 and you don’t get ranked No. 1, then I don’t know what the way is there at all”
According to the Russian fighter, his confrontation with the Australian will not become a trilogy.
“Yes, the point is set, one hundred percent. There’s no point in fighting any more. He and I met by chance in a cafe, someone suggested a battle of glances, and he himself said, ‘That’s it, enough already!’ I think yes, it’s definitely over now.”
Islam Makhachev’s next opponent is likely to be Brazilian Charles Oliveira, ranked No. 1 in the UFC lightweight rankings.