It’s been known for some time that the plan is for UFC lightweight champion Islam Makhachev to headline UFC 294 in Abu Dhabi on October 21st, but it’s still not clear who he will be fighting, and the star himself has just thrown in a major curveball by calling for a superfight with welterweight champion Leon Edwards.
The general belief had been that Makhachev was most likely heading into a rematch with former champ Charles Oliveira even though he seems less than enthused by that idea, and ‘Do Bronx’ recently added another spanner in the works by saying in an interview that he won’t be ready to fight in October.
Now Makhachev has come up with an alternative match-up that’s caught everyone’s attention.
“UFC Abu Dhabi, October 21st Makhachev vs Edwards What do you think? @ufc @espnmma,” Makhachev wrote on Twitter.
The 170lb champion Edwards had been expected to defend his belt against Colby Covington later this year, but as yet it’s not been officially confirmed.
Speaking to TNT Sports yesterday, Dana White suggested that it’s possible Edwards could potentially fight at UFC 295 in November, which means he’d be the co-main event under the heavyweight title clash between Jon Jones and Stipe Miocic, but it remains to be seen if Makhachev’s suggestion tempts them to rethink their plans.
However, it’s perhaps more likely that the winner of the upcoming fight for the ‘BMF’ belt between Justin Gaethje and Dustin Poirier at UFC 291 later this month could go on to fight Makhachev next as the champion has previously said he’d be more interested in that than rematching Charles Oliveira.