Reigning UFC lightweight champion Islam Makhachev was hoping to make his Octagon return in March, squeezing in one more MMA fight before Ramadan. The promotion had other ideas, but Makhachev was disinterested in rematching either of these top contenders for UFC 300 in April.
There were also reports of a mysterious “injury.”
Makhachev recently spoke to the French media while attending Judo Grand Slam in Paris, laying out an expected timeline for his UFC return.
“June-July I have next fight,” Makhachev said (via MMA Squad). “I did just one training every day, nothing like hard. But I’m still training everyday because I am a champion, I have to defend my belt, I have to be ready. Now everybody wants to take my belt.”
Twitter fans seemed more interested in his portly appearance.
Islam been eating!
Bro looks like a literal Meatball with a beard.
This guy’s not making 155 for much longer.
Bro eating food.
He looks chunky.
Training every day for an eating contest.
Bro looks 200 lbs.
If Makhachev returns in June (or July), that’s probably too soon to face the winner of Charles Oliveira vs. Arman Tsarukyan, who battle at UFC 300 for the next crack at the 155-pound crown. In addition, No. 2-ranked lightweight contender Justin Gaethje is also booked for April 13 in Las Vegas, battling former featherweight champion Max Holloway for “BMF” bragging rights.
For more on the upcoming UFC 300 fight card click here.