Dana White states his intentions for Islam Makhachev’s next UFC title defense

By Chris Taylor - October 21, 2023

Dana White already has an opponent in mind for Islam Makhachev following today’s UFC 294 event in Abu Dhabi.

Dana White, Islam Makhachev, UFC 294, UFC

Makhachev (25-1 MMA) put his undisputed lightweight world title on the line in a rematch against Alexander Volkanovski (26-3 MMA) in this afternoon’s pay-per-view headliner.

The pair had previously collided this past February at UFC 284, with Makhachev earning a hotly debated unanimous decision victory over the Aussie.

Today’s rematch left no controversy, as Islam Makhachev was able to finish Alexander Volkanovski in the very first round thanks to a perfectly timed head kick. That strike wobbled and eventually dropped ‘The Great’, and Islam quickly pounced on the reigning featherweight champion with ground and pound to finish the fight (see that here).

Following the conclusion of today’s event, UFC CEO Dana White spoke with reporters at the post-fight press conference where he outlined his plans for the promotion’s lightweight division.

When asked who Islam was most likely to face next between Charles Oliveira and Justin Gaethje, White replied with the following answer (h/t TSN’s Aaron Bronsteter).

“You’ve got to give it to Oliveira… But again, these are all questions I can’t really answer right now.”

Islam Makhachev and Charles Oliveira of course previously fought at UFC 280 in a bout for the promotion’s then vacant lightweight title, with the Russian emerging victorious by way of second-round submission.

As for Justin Gaethje (25-4 MMA), ‘The Highlight’ most recently competed at July’s UFC 291 event, where he captured the BMF title with a second-round knockout victory over former interim lightweight champ Dustin Poirier.

When asked who he would like to fight in his next attempted title defense, Islam Makhachev simply stated that he is willing to take on anyone Dana White and the UFC put in front of him.

Who would you like to see Makhachev fight next, Gaethje or Oliveira?


Dana White Islam Makhachev UFC