Islam Makhachev responded to the proposal to change the flag of Russia

Reigning UFC lightweight champion Islam Makhachev turned down an offer to represent the United Arab Emirates under the banner of the world’s strongest league, which his team received after his first fight with Alexander Volkanovski.

This was announced by the Russian fighter in an interview “Match TV”.

“After the first fight, I was offered to represent the Emirates. We said that we represent Russia, we live there, and this topic was not raised again,” – said Makhachev.

Islam Makhachev was scheduled to make his title defense against Charles Oliveira at UFC 294 in Abu Dhabi on October 21, but the Brazilian suffered a dissection last week and dropped out of the event, and his place was taken by Alexander Volkanovski, who agreed to step in as a replacement on short notice.

The Australian, who holds the UFC featherweight title, had already tried to take the lightweight championship belt away from the Russian in February of this year, losing by unanimous decision at UFC 284 in Perth.

If successful in his rematch with Volkanovski, Islam Makhachev plans to challenge the winner of the welterweight title fight between Leon Edwards and Colby Covington, which takes place Dec. 16 at UFC 296 in Las Vegas.