Morning Report: Javier Mendez believes Islam Makhachev ‘needs to clear everyone out’ to earn P4P ranking


Islam Makhachev is the best fighter in the world, but he still hasn’t proven it yet. At least, that’s what his coach believes.

Following his win over Charles Oliveira at UFC 280 to claim the lightweight title, Makhachev skyrocketed up the UFC’s pound-for-pound rankings, claiming the No. 2 spot. It was an enormous jump for a fighter with only a few ranked wins to his name, and zero title defenses, and that’s why his coach, Javier Mendez, believes his ranking is a little premature.

“Look, you know this just as much as I do, Islam went to No. 2 spot pound-for-pound in the UFC in just one fight? How?,” Mendez told MMAJunkie. “I know he’s good, and I believe he’s No. 1. I do believe that. But to give him that spot of No. 2 pound-for-pound in just one fight, no. I know in my heart with time he’ll be No. 1. Simple as that. He’s going to be No. 1. But they gave him this just because of one fight.

“No, I don’t like that. It was done too quickly.”

Makhachev’s meteoric rise up the pound-for-pound rankings can be attributed to a couple of factors, the first being his outstanding resume. Makhachev is 23-1 in his MMA career, 12-1 in the UFC, and unbeaten since 2016, his second fight in the promotion. That’s why, after his win over Oliveira he shot to No. 3 in the rankings. Then, when Israel Adesanya lost his middleweight title to Alex Pereira, Adesanya dropped and Makhachev ascended to the No. 2 spot. It also probably didn’t hurt that Makhachev is the protege of former No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter and all-time great Khabib Nurmagomedov, or that he’s set to defend his title against featherweight champion and top pound-for-pound fighter Alexander Volkanovski. But until he actually goes out there and proves his own greatness by defeating Volkanovski and the next lightweight title challenger afterwards, Mendez maintains that his student doesn’t deserve such a lofty ranking.

“He’s the man, but he needs to do more,” Mendez said. “That’s what I believe. He needs to beat Volkanovski, then Dariush. He needs to beat those guys, so you can say he’s No. 1.

“Look at what Volkanovski is doing. He mopped the floor with all the challengers that are in his weight class. Everyone. He cleared them all out. Islam needs to clear everyone out. Again, I feel he’s No. 1, but in order to get that you need to finish everyone, that’s how it works. That’s how I think.”

Makhachev puts his lightweight title on the line against Volkanovski on Feb. 12 at UFC 284 in Perth, Australia.


Results. Larissa Pacheco shocks the world with stunning upset to beat Kayla Harrison in PFL Championship main event.

Loss. Kayla Harrison on first MMA loss: ‘I lost in front of the whole world, and it hurts. It’s going to hurt for awhile.’

Petty. Cris Cyborg reacts to Kayla Harrison losing at PFL Championship card: Larissa Pacheco ‘saved the PFL $3 million.’

Mad. Conor McGregor responds to Anthony Smith’s USADA criticism: ‘The audacity of this loser.’

Poop. Paddy Pimblett’s dog has an accident in neighbor’s yard, leads to hilarious interaction on camera.

Power. Darren Till compares Alex Pereira’s power to the late Anthony Johnson following UFC 281 title win.


Reaction to the PFL World Championships.

Israel Adesanya on Hot Ones.

Stephen Thompson fight camp.

Paddy Pimblett UFC 282 preparation.

Alexander Volkanovski’s fight camp.


Absolutely terrible.

Flex on ‘em.

Jiri Prochazka.

Aljamain Sterling really chasing Henry Cejudo.

Belal Muhammad making an effort.

Call out.

Matt Brown’s future.


Ovince Saint Preux (26-16) vs. Antonio Trocoli (12-3, 1 NC); UFC 282, Dec. 10.

Manel Kape (17-6) vs. David Dvorak (20-4); UFC Vegas 66, Dec. 17.

Alex Caceres (14-11, 1 NC) vs. Julian Erosa (28-9); UFC Vegas 66, Dec. 17.

Gadzi Rabadanov (18-4-2) vs. Koji Takeda (15-3); Bellator vs. RIZIN, Dec. 31.

Joe Solecki (12-3) vs. Benoit Saint Denis (10-1); UFC Fight Night, Feb. 18.

Nikita Krylov (29-9) vs. Ryan Spann (21-7); UFC Fight Night, Feb. 25.


Just for reference, Volkanovski hasn’t cleared out his division. He’s beaten three men in the top-15, same as Makhachev. He just beat one of those guys three times. That’s not clearing out a division whatsoever.

Anyway, hope y’all had a great weekend and thanks for reading!


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