UFC head honcho Dana White revealed that Joe Rogan asked him to have fast track Islam Makhachev’s title shot.
UFC lightweight belt is now vacated thanks to the UFC choosing to strip Oliveira following scale snafu.
After defeating Justin Gaethje, the Brazilian is downgraded to number one contender – and might not be getting the PPV points for his next clash.
The lightweight division is among the most exciting – in contention for the title are Islam Makhachev, Michael Chandler, Conor McGregor and more.
Right after UFC 274 finished, Khabib Nurmagomedov took to twitter to try and lobby for a Makhachev title shot.
“Why [Islam Makhachev] has to do contender fight, if there’s no champion in this division.” Khabib wrote on Twitter.
Makchachev was promised a title shot after defeating Bobby Green back in February. However, after a failed negotiation to take on Rafael dos Anjos on short notice he fell onto Dana White’s bad side.
“Pretty close – I thought we had it done,” White told Barstool Sports of Makhachev vs. dos Anjos. “When I went to bed one of the nights, I thought it was done. Woke up the next morning and found out they turned it down. Islam [turned it down]. No clue [why].”
After Dana White offered insight into who backed out, Makhachev responded (likely via his manager on twitter):
“Dana, you went to bed to early, you gotta stay up late to get things done”
Dana White since claimed that Makhachev needs to get through Beneil Dariush first. The biggest criticism on Makhachev’s career is the fact that he’s barely competed against top ranked opponents. The only top 10 competitor he’s faced has been Dan Hooker.
UFC president might change his mind after his longtime friend Joe Rogan asked him to book Makhachev against Oliveira. At the UFC 274 press conference, White was being asked if he still wanted to book Makhachev vs Dairush.
The 52-year-old answered: “I do. But Joe Rogan just grabbed me in the hallway and told me not to.”
It’s interesting White had chosen to share this with the press.