Makhachev, the reigning lightweight champion with an impressive record of 25-1 MMA, 14-1 UFC, secured his title defense at UFC 294 by delivering a stunning first-round knockout to Alexander Volkanovski with a head kick.
Originally scheduled for a rematch against Charles Oliveira, Makhachev had Mateusz Gamrot as a backup contender for UFC 294. Despite various options available for the champion’s next fight, Cormier believes that a matchup against McGregor would be the ideal choice to elevate Makhachev’s status.
On his ESPN show “DC & RC.”, Cormier stated, “I think Islam should fight Conor McGregor next. It’s a built-in storyline and the biggest money fight the UFC could make. Having Islam Makhachev, a potential dominant champion, face Conor McGregor would take him to the next level of superstardom.”
Cormier further emphasized the positive impact a victory against McGregor could have on Makhachev’s career, highlighting how it elevated fighters like Dustin Poirier and Khabib Nurmagomedov. He pointed out the existing animosity between McGregor and Khabib, adding to the intrigue of a match between Islam and Conor, the biggest star in mixed martial arts.
Although McGregor is currently set to fight Michael Chandler after their coaching stints on Season 31 of “The Ultimate Fighter,” Cormier argues that a fight against Makhachev would not only elevate his brand but also potentially put McGregor back on top if he were to achieve a major upset.
According to Cormier, “This is a no-lose situation. What if Conor wins? It doesn’t mess anything up because now you have your biggest star back as the champion. But if Islam wins, you have another star in terms of star power, just like Khabib Nurmagomedov. It’s a win-win scenario.”
For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 294.
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