Islam Makhachev tells UFC to ‘stop playing games,’ casts doubts on champ vs. champ match

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Islam Makhachev tells UFC to ‘stop playing games,’ casts doubts on champ vs. champ match

Newly crowned lightweight champion Islam Makhachev called out featherweight titleholder Alexander Volkanovski after his win over Charles Oliveira at UFC 280 on October 22.

Volkanovski (25-1) is riding a 22-fight winning streak and has successfully defended the 145-pound title four times. He’s currently ranked as the top pound-for-pound fighter in the world. Makhachev (23-1) is ranked No. 3 and wants to take the top spot.

“Islam Makhachev is the best fighter, not in lightweight, he’s the pound-for-pound number one fighter,” Makhachev’s coach Khabib Nurmagomedov said following the UFC 280 win over Oliveira.

“Charles Oliveira is the number two pound-for-pound, right? He finished Charles. Now is our plan to fly all the way to Australia and fight in pound-for-pound king’s backyard with Volkanovski,” continued Nurmagomedov.

Following UFC 280, it appeared that Makhachev and Volkanovski would meet at UFC 284 in February in Perth, Australia. Judging from a Tweet from Makhachev over the weekend, those plans may have changed.

“I’m not sure what UFC wants, February Australia or March Vegas, I honestly don’t care about location and opponent, I never choose opponents. Just send a contract and stop playing games,” Makhachev wrote.

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