In a recent turn of events, Conor McGregor has expressed doubts regarding the legitimacy of Islam Makhachev’s latest win.
McGregor closely observed the match as Makhachev defended his lightweight title against Alexander Volkanovski at UFC 294 in Abu Dhabi.
In the first round, Makhachev delivered a decisive head kick and followed it with a series of strikes that left Volkanovski knocked out.
Known for his keen eye for technicalities, McGregor was quick to point out what he perceived as a vulnerability in Volkanovski’s game against a southpaw.
He took to social media, stating: “He was always susceptible to that vs a southpaw.”
Upon viewing an alternate angle of Makhachev’s win, McGregor raised concerns about the legality of the final strikes. He suggested that Volkanovski might have been rendered unconscious by punches that could be considered illegal.
He wrote: “A difficult sport to ref.”
“To stop that on a warning or a point deduction when volk was essentially out already is a tricky one. But there would be grounds for it, 100%. Would have been nail biting stuff.
Especially since back of the head shots are legal now pic.twitter.com/exqEpSsFys
— Fafa Wick (@FafaWick) October 21, 2023
“I’d have loved to see it happen. Back of the head shots are not good.”
While it’s true that some of Makhachev’s ground strikes landed behind Volkanovski’s head, it’s essential to note that Volkanovski was actively trying to evade them. This defensive maneuver contributed to the positioning of the strikes.
In the aftermath of the match, the featherweight champion avoided mentioning questionable blows and instead praised his opponent. Additionally, Volkanovski expressed his desire to face top contender Ilia Topuria in January.
On the other hand, Makhachev’s next opponent remains uncertain. He has entrusted UFC CEO Dana White with the decision, choosing between Charles Oliveira and Justin Gaethje.
Also, McGregor is set to return to the octagon for the first time since July 2021. Having recovered from his leg injury sustained at UFC 264, McGregor is anticipated to face lightweight contender Michael Chandler in the first half of 2024.
Despite speculation, a specific date and venue for McGregor’s comeback bout has yet to be confirmed. MMA icon Michael Bisping speculates that this showdown might take place at UFC 300. However, the exact timeline of McGregor’s return remains uncertain.