After another dominant win over Thiago Moises last night in his first UFC main event, Islam Makachev is now looking for a higher-profile fight next time out, and is eager to fight Tony Ferguson.
“If they were to give me a choice, let’s do it with Tony because we have good history with him,” Makhachev said at the UFC On ESPN 26 post-fight press conference.
“Khabib was supposed to fight with him like five, six times. Let’s finish this, you know. I’m going to finish this. I’m going to show Tony not Khabib level. People don’t understand how Khabib pressures. I can’t explain to you guys, but I think you know everything.”
Makhachev is a long-time training partner of Khabib’s, and indeed since his retirement, the former lightweight kingpin has actually touted Makhachev as a future champion of the weight class.
Last night’s victory marked Makachev’s eight victory in a row inside the Octagon, so there’s no doubt he more than merits a big fight now, as well as a rise up the rankings, since he’s only currently ranked No.9.
Meanwhile, Ferguson is ranked No.5, but that’s largely based on his past success as he’s currently on a three-fight losing streak that’s seen him come off second-best against Justin Gaethje, Charles Oliviera and Beneil Dariush.
With that in mind it remains to be seen whether the UFC will be eager to put a fighter riding a wave of momentum against one who is on a downward spiral, but there’s no doubt that the Khabib connection would add extra spice to the occasion if the match-up does come to fruition in the future.