Islam Makhachev defeated Alex Volkanovski by decision to retain his lightweight championship. The two competed in the main event of UFC 284.
The 155-pound champion recently did an interview in which he discussed his future. The interviewer asked him about a possible rematch with Volkanovski. This is because many question his unanimous decision win considering the amount of praise Volkanovski received.
Islam said that he’s open to a rematch and he doesn’t care who his opponent is. He could face Volk again or duel with a contender in the lightweight division.
“I said that I didn’t care if the UFC wants to put someone. Or a rematch or a real contender.”
They then spoke about changing divisions. He said that it wouldn’t be possible for him to get down to featherweight.
But he is open to competing in the welterweight division at 77 kg/170 lbs. All it’s going to take for him to move up is a phone call from management.
“I think it’s illogical to go down to the weight category. I’m not a small person. I can’t go down to the weight category.”
“If the management calls me tomorrow and says that I want to fight at 77 kg, I will try.”
If the rematch is to happen, it will have to wait since Islam wants to take a break. He also plans to take it easy on the training since he’ll be fasting in the month of Ramadan.
“I need a little rest, Ramadan is ahead. We will not have time to fight until Ramadan. I will have time to recover.”
“I will not be completely disconnected until Ramadan, I will train lightly.”
Islam also said that he’s been training heavily since way before the Charles Oliveira match.
“I trained 3-4 months before the fight with Oliveira and did not relax after the fight.”
He then “had a trip to Singapore and trained there 2-3 times.”
As a result, he hasn’t seen his loved ones in a while now.
“I haven’t been home for a month. I was at the training camp before the fight. I did not see my family. I did not have time to spend with my family and friends.”
Syed Ali Fazeel is an accomplished MMA fan, and writer. He discovered MMA in his youth and has been following the sport since TUF season 1.