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Useless fight for Useless Belt: Islam Makhachev slams BMF Title fight

LockerRoom Team
15 March 2024

Islam Makhachev has voiced his strong disapproval regarding the upcoming BMF title fight at UFC 300, as Justin Gaethje gears up to defend his belt against Max Holloway on April 13 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

UFC lightweight champion Makhachev had anticipated his next title defense to be against Gaethje. However, with "The Highlight" locked in for a showdown against Holloway, Makhachev expressed bewilderment at the matchup.

Speaking to MMA Junkie, Makhachev didn't mince words: "I don’t want to make people upset, but this is a useless fight for a useless belt. Nobody gains anything from this fight."

Highlighting his contenders, Makhachev emphasized Gaethje's rightful place in the title picture: "I have three guys: (Arman) Tsarukyan, (Charles) Oliveira, and Gaethje, but Tsarukyan and Oliveira – I beat them already. But I have Gaethje – he deserves to fight for the title now. This is a good time for him."

Expressing his view on Holloway's position, Makhachev suggested alternative matchups: "For Holloway, he already has a new champion (at featherweight), and he can fight now with (Ilia) Topuria. But they put (Gaethje and Holloway) against each other. I don’t know. This fight for me, it’s nothing. For the fans, it’s going to be a good fight. They both like to give damage, like to fight, like to box always. But for me, and for the (lightweight) division, the fight means nothing."

Eyeing his return in June, Makhachev considered potential opponents, eventually landing on Dustin Poirier following his victory over Benoit Saint Denis at UFC 299.

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However, Makhachev expressed concern for Gaethje's risk in accepting the matchup: "Can you imagine if Gaethje loses? If Gaethje loses, he loses everything – his chance. I don’t know when he’s going to fight for the title again. If Holloway loses, who will fight with Topuria? … If they put me vs. Gaethje and Holloway vs. Topuria, it’s good for the UFC, for both divisions. But right now, in my opinion, it’s a useless fight."

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