UFC lightweight is currently on a 10-fight record, but could be leapfrogged by McGregor for title chances upon his return, despite only having one win in the past five years
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Islam Makhachev has promised to “beat” Conor McGregor after claiming his 10th straight UFC win to get one step closer to a title fight.
Makhachev ruthlessly stopped veteran Bobby Green within minutes of their first meeting at UFC Apex in Las Vegas, and called for a world title fight.
But it’s possible McGregor could overtake him for a chance at the belt with his considerable star power, despite losing his last two bouts.
The Irish say to Mirror Fighting on Friday night that he will be watching a world belt fight when he returns to the octagon later this year.
And Makhachev has said that he will happily take care of McGregor if a fight is played with him.
No love has been lost between McGregor and Makhachev, with the Russians cornered by Dubliner’s most hated rival Khabib Nurmagomedov.
“Honestly, I don’t remember when this guy hit someone,” Makhachev told reporters after the win over Green. “He has to turn around and hit someone and then go, why not?
“I’ll smack him as easily.”
Makhachev also joked that opponent Green, whom he knocked out within minutes, would be a tougher challenge than former two-weight world champion McGregor.
“Bobby Green will be more difficult for me than for him,” Makhachev added.
Makhachev is placed in 4th place in the standings behind Beneil Dariush, whom he was supposed to fight on last night’s show, Dustin Poirier and Justin Gaethje.
It looks like Gaethje will be up against champion Charles Oliveira, whose belt was vacated by Makhachev’s teammate Nurmagomedov last year.
The bout could be on May 7 at UFC 274, which is supposed to take place in Arizona, after Oliveira successfully defended her title in December against Poirier.
“I just want a belt war,” Makhachev said in his post-octagon interview. “No more.
“I’m tired of all this. I need the title fight. I’m ready. I’m here.”
He then noted that Green, who has been fighting professionally for 14 years, was “not at his level,” and made his case for a title war.
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“I told you guys a few days ago,” he said in his post-match press conference. “This guy is not my level and I will show you my level
“In 11 months I complete four boys and I deserve it [a title shot]. “
And he believes he would combine very well with Oliveira if the UFC chooses to give him the bout instead of Gaethje, who beat Michael Chandler in November.
“I think it will be a good match because this guy is good at attacks and grappling and grappling,” added Makhachev.
“I will tire him out, put pressure on him and make him give up.
“This guy, I know like when someone goes with him three or four rounds and gives him a big punch and hard times, and he can end some people with suffocation.
“But when he doesn’t do this, he gives up – I’m more skilled at grappling than he is.
“He’ll try to finish me off on the ground, but it’ll be hard for him.”
https://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/other-sports/mma/conor-mcgregor-islam-makhachev-ufc-26341518 Islam Makhachev vows to "knock out" rival Conor McGregor with brutal knockdown