The great Islam Makhachev has long been known as a fighter that the vast majority of the lightweight category would rather avoid. This was especially evident until Islam was ranked. Everyone knew that he was an extremely dangerous and unpleasant fighter with whom there was no particular sense in fighting and taking risks if he was not ranked.
However, Makhachev is now fourth in the challenger rankings and is getting closer to attacking the belt. Makhachev is a slightly more attractive opponent to the rest of the category, now that his name is associated with a rather high position in the standings.
However, many are under the impression that it is a matter of time before Islam becomes the champion and wonder who can put an end to the fighter who is currently in a string of nine victories. Marvin Vettori, a UFC middleweight fighter, praised the skills of the fighter from Dagestan, but points out that one fighter could very well match Makhachev.
‘‘ Islam is a great guy. I once had the opportunity to train with him in Vegas. He’s a hell of a fighter, no doubt. But one guy can give him a lot of trouble." "I don’t know if I want to watch that fight now or when one of them is the champion.
That guy is my teammate, Beneil Dariush. That would be a crazy fight. I can’t wait to see her (if it happens). ’’ Marvin said on the Real Quick podcast with Mike Swick
Justin Gaethje is the favorite for the next challenger, but above all, Dustin Poirier and Charles Oliveira have to do a match for the lightweight champion in the 12th month.
As for Islam Makhachev, it is easily possible that Dagestan will need another victory. The question is who the UFC would pair him with in that case, but Beneil Dariush really emerges as the most logical choice. The 32-year-old Iranian with an American passport is also in a great winning streak.
Dariush has defeated the last seven opponents the promotion has put in front of him and is currently the third-ranked challenger in the UFC lightweight division. The fact is that he and Makhachev are truly in great series and it was not undeserved that they were both waiting on the sidelines for an opportunity to attack the belt. However, for MMA fans, and the promotion itself, the best option would be to pair two great fighters.