Javier Mendez dismisses Ilia Topuria fight, wants Islam Makhachev to move up

Javier Mendez shares his thoughts on Islam Makhachev's next move.

by Aryan Lakhani
Javier Mendez dismisses Ilia Topuria fight, wants Islam Makhachev to move up
© Paul Kane / Getty Images

Islam Makhachev has a wide list of options to pick from if he successfully defends his belt against Dustin Poirier on Saturday night. Makhachev and his coach Javier Mendez aren’t very thrilled to entertain a fight with Ilia Topuria as they are focused on capturing the welterweight division.

Islam Makhachev wants to fight for the welterweight belt next so that he can fulfil his goal of becoming a double champion.

Javier Mendez on Islam Makhachev’s next move

In a recent interview with MMA Junkie, Javier Mendez explained why Islam Makhachev isn’t interested in fighting Ilia Topuria next.

“You know what, for me, if Islam were to do another champ vs. champ fight, it’s better for him to go up in weight,” Mendez said, as quoted by mmajunkie.usatoday.com. “If we had the choice, if UFC told us we could fight with the UFC welterweight champion or Topuria, we’d choose welterweight.

That’s what I want. I’m confident that that’s what Islam wants, too”.

Javier Mendez picks Arman Tsarukyan over Ilia Topuria

“(Ilia) is a great fighter, and he’s been doing well, but he (Makhachev) doesn’t need to fight him, That’s my opinion.

I think Tsarukyan is a better choice. That’s what I think. Ilia needs to do more in his weight class. He wants to go up in weight and challenge for a second belt, but we want to do the same. And what happened? The UFC didn’t let us.

We wanted to, but they told us to defend. What UFC tells us to do, that’s what we have to do. It doesn’t matter what you say, what we say, what Ilia says. What matters is what the UFC wants.

Javier Mendez Islam Makhachev