With a quick finish of Bobby Green in the UFC Vegas 49 main event, Islam Makhachev has solidified his place as the number one contender at lightweight, and will fight the winner of Charles Oliveira vs Justin Gaethje next, according to Dana White. Here are four fights to make at lightweight after UFC Vegas 49.
Fights To Make At Lightweight
Islam Makhachev vs Winner Of Oliveira vs Gaethje
According to Khabib Nurmagomedov, Dana White has said that Makhachev will face the winner of the title fight between Oliveira and Gaethje, set to take place at UFC 274 in May. With a ten fight winning streak in one of the toughest divisions in the UFC, the Dagestani is most deserving of a title shot, despite what some critics say about him.
Makhachev has finished all of his last four opponents, most notably Dan Hooker, who he submitted in the first round at UFC 267. He also stopped Green in the first round, and with two back-to-back first round finishes, it’s impossible to deny him a title shot.
Dustin Poirier vs Beneil Dariush
Beneil Dariush was originally booked to fight Makhachev at UFC Vegas 49, but had to withdraw due to injury. With Dana guaranteeing Makhachev a title shot, the chances that Makhachev vs Dariush will be rebooked immediately are low, so a title eliminator against Dustin Poirier, who’s coming off a third round submission loss to Oliveira, makes the most sense for the Assyrian-American.
Poirier has had a legendary run at lightweight, and is a big draw, whereas Dariush is the division’s dark horse. Poirier vs Dariush would definitely be a fun fight.
Michael Chandler vs Tony Ferguson
Both Michael Chandler and Tony Ferguson desperately need a win to bounce back into title contention. Chandler is on a two-fight losing streak, whereas Ferguson is on a three fight losing streak. A fight between the two makes a lot of sense, and on top of that, it would be an absolute war.
Conor McGregor vs Winner Of RDA vs Fiziev
Conor McGregor wants an immediate title shot upon his return to the Octagon, despite having lost his last two bouts in a brutal fashion. Given his superstar status and popularity, the Irishman could easily get a title shot, but realistically, he should take a fight or two before going for a title fight, especially after a lengthy layoff.
If he’s serious about getting his hands on the lightweight title again, the Irishman should fight the winner of Rafael dos Anjos vs Rafael Fiziev, which will take place at UFC 272 this weekend. RDA has a history with McGregor, whereas Fiziev would be a favourable stylistic matchup and a great fighter for the former two division champ to test himself against.
Who do you think Islam Makhachev, Beneil Dariush, Conor McGregor, Dustin Poirier and others should fight next?