People are already saying that Islam Makhachev is the one to take the throne Khabib Nurmagomedov
left vacant, and they’re right. The man is unstoppable, he’s on a 7 match win streak, and has an
impressive record of 19-1. UFC did put Makhachev under the spotlight until Nurmagomedov retired,
because it would have been pointless to have him beat everyone but then fail to beat Khabib, as they
thought Khabib was more worthy of the attention. However, now with Khabib gone, Makhachev is
getting all the attention, and other fighters including former champions are refusing to fight Islam, so
why is Makhachev scaring those fighters? Stay until the end to find out, before we jump in do not forget
to subscribe, like and comment “ I subscribed” and I will give you a personal reply.
UFC lightweight prospect Islam Makhachev is having trouble finding a fighter to fight him. The Russian is
on a 7-fight winning streak, but those fights are spread across 5 years
He last fought in March 2021 and submitted Drew Dober in the third round to take his impressive record
to 19-1. His manager, Rizvan Magomedov, talked about his time with the UFC in an interview with RT
Sport and explained why Makhachev was not fighting as much as he would like to.
“It’s not beneficial for them to fight Islam Makhachev,” he said.
Islam’s manager was talking about Rafael Dos Anjos and Paul Felder. Makhachev has fired shots at
Rafael Dos Anjos and Paul Felder, claiming they both refused to fight him. In his latest tweet
“Same problem again, RDA turned down the fight, Felder too”, the Dagestani expressed his
disappointment, stating he has been turned down in the past. The Dagestani was expected to face
veteran Rafael dos Anjos at UFC 254 on October 24, 2020. Unfortunately, Dos Anjos tested positive for
COVID-19 and he was removed from the bout. The UFC failed to find a replacement opponent for
Makhachev, so his fight with Dos Anjos was rescheduled for November 14, 2020. However, this time
Makhachev was forced to pull out from the event owing to a staph infection. Paul Felder stepped in to
replace the Dagestani.
Rafael Dos Anjos recently called out Justin Gaethje on Twitter, and this didn't sit well with Islam
Makhachev. The wrestler claimed that his fight with Rafael Dos Anjos had been scheduled, and Dos
Anjos shouldn't try to run away.
Another who is seemingly ducking Makhachev is Paul Felder, Paul Felder is being accused of avoiding
Felder is a tough man. The Irish Dragon turns up to fights even on a week’s notice, which was evident
during his last outing against Rafael Dos Anjos in November, last year.
He is also seen commentating during the majority of UFC’s Fight Night events.
The number 9 ranked lightweight contender has often been pitted against Islam Makhachev, the
number 10 ranked lightweight.
A fight between the two has never come to fruition, with the blame always falling on Felder, of ducking
Makhachev. More recently, Felder decided to give it back to a fan who claimed that he was ducking
Makhachev constantly, while talking trash about Joshua Fabia. The fan also called out Felder for being
un-‘Philly’, taking shots at his birthplace, Philadelphia.
“You are so tough” – Paul Felder trolled the fan
Felder had also torn into the fan, since the fan calling him ‘not Philly’ and a poser, didn’t sit well with
him. He posted a sarcastic tweet referring to the fan as an ‘Internet’ tough guy, asking him how to be
more fearless like he is.
Another big name who is rumored to be Ducking a Makhachev fight is Michael Chandler. Chandler was
serving as a backup fighter for the main event between lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov
and Justin Gaethje at UFC 254, but said that he isn’t interested in fighting Islam Makhachev, who was
without an opponent at the time.
Makhachev was slated to face Rafael dos Anjos at UFC 254, but the former UFC lightweight champion
was forced out after he tested positive for COVID-19. Makhachev declared his interest in facing
Chandler, but Chandler said he wasn’t interested. As a result, Makhachev was removed from the card.
The former three-time Bellator lightweight champion explained that a matchup with Makhachev
wouldn’t make sense, considering that even if he doesn’t get to compete on UFC 254, he’s still on the
cusp of title contention.
Chandler continued to defend himself and said “At this point I’m not taking a short notice fight against a
guy, as I said, my words have been somewhat misconstrued and people are just hitting me up left and
“When I say people, I mean like Russians, Dagestanis, all these guys on the Khabib train – there’s
millions and millions of them – they’re crushing me, calling me chicken and coward, but I didn’t sign this
contract to go out there and fight anybody, especially on two weeks’ notice and change the opponent,
change the plan and change everything. As of right now, I’m the backup for the world title fight, I’m
keeping my body, my mind, my soul, my spirit ready for the next move.”
Kevin Lee also dodged a fight with Makhachev after publicly showing interest in fighting Makhachev
back in 2020.
Makhachev shot back at Lee after he accepted the Oliveira fight, telling him that he took the easy way
out. Oliveira is no easy test and Lee knows this. Lee revealed why the fight against Islam Makhachev
didn't work out
“They really only gave me one option which was to fight Islam in June in Russia. June is honestly too long
waiting. I want to stay active.”
That's a fair reason to want to get back into the Octagon. We're not sure why they couldn't get the spot
at UFC 249 but it's presumably because the card was stacked enough as it is. Lee disagrees with
Makhachev saying that he took the easy way out.
“He knows we can still get it. But the only option they gave to make it big was to fight in Russia in June.
But I’m not interested in waiting. At the end of the day, he’s the one gunning after my spot.
When asked about the disparity in their rankings (Lee being #8 and Makhachev being #14), Lee said that
he doesn't view rankings from the same perspective that others do. Rather, he has an interesting take
where he looks at it based on the talent and not the politics.
“I’m looking at it as a talent perspective, not with all the politics that go into it. Islam is somebody that I
feel like is one of the most talented dudes in the division.”
Many would argue with that assessment as Makhachev was eased into the rankings. He is widely
regarded as one of the top prospects of the Lightweight division. Lee concluded by admitting that facing
Makhachev is a nice "storyline" way to get to Nurmagomedov. He also believes that they have a slightly
One last name that was accused of dodging a fight with Makhachev is Dan Hooker. Hooker is currently
the number eight-ranked UFC lightweight. “The Hangman” hasn’t had much luck inside the Octagon in
his last two fights. He’s suffered a unanimous decision defeat to Dustin Poirier, followed by a first-round
TKO loss to Michael Chandler. Hooker hasn’t been victorious since his Feb. 2020 split decision over the
now-retired Paul Felder.
There’s been a lot of speculation about what Hooker’s next move will be. During an appearance
on Submission Radio, Hooker revealed he tried to get on the UFC 263 card but he had no luck.
Fans have begun speculating that Hooker was ducking Makhachev. To add fuel to the fire, Daniel
Cormier claimed that Felder, Rafael dos Anjos, and some top 10-ranked UFC lightweights turned down
fights with Makhachev.
Hooker insisted that Makhachev wasn’t available to fight him at UFC 263.
“The only reason that fight didn’t get put together is he wasn’t ready to go in June. That’s the only thing
that I can see from my end. He’s got himself another fight. If he gets through that or whatever (and) he’s
ready to go on Volk’s card…to me, I never stipulated an opponent. I’ve never been offered that fight.
That name has never come across my desk. So, it’s funny. But I’m not Paul Felder.”