Reigning UFC lightweight champion Islam Makhachev is very likely to make his next title defense on March 2 in Riyadh.
Informed sources report that the Russian’s fight is planned as the main event of the tournament, which will be the organization’s first event in Saudi Arabia. The show was officially announced earlier by representatives of the organization.
On the eve of the Russian fighter confirmed that he is ready to return to the octagon before the holy month of Ramadan, which begins on March 10. Also, the UFC champion said that he plans to hold three fights next year, one of them on the territory of the United States.
The main candidate to fight the Russian is Brazilian Charles Oliveira, who was scheduled to fight him on October 21 at UFC 294 in Abu Dhabi, but suffered a dissection and dropped out of the event, losing a title shot to Alexander Volkanovski. As a result, Islam Makhachev successfully defended his championship belt by knocking out the Australian in the first round, after which he moved up to No. 2 in the UFC’s top fighters rankings regardless of weight class.
However, it is possible that the opponent of the Russian lightweight could be American Justin Gaethje, who is ranked second in the division rankings and holds the BMF title.