Islam Makhachev doubts Conor McGregor will come back to a UFC lightweight title shot.

Although McGregor hasn’t won a fight at 155 pounds since dethroning then-champion Eddie Alvarez in November 2016, his name has been brought up by current UFC champ Charles Oliveira on multiple occasions.

McGregor (22-6 MMA, 10-4 UFC), who’s currently healing from a broken leg, is looking to return at some point in 2022 and, according to UFC president Dana White, is a player in the title picture. However, it’s all just noise for Makhachev (22-1 MMA, 11-1 UFC).

“I think this is fake,” Makhachev told ESPN, “for the fans that make some interesting, but I think this fake. It’s gonna be hard for him to make 155 because he drunk all days, and lot of people are gonna smash him in this situation. He just gonna fight vs. Nate Diaz or some old people for make some money, and that’s it. He’s never gonna be champion. He’s never gonna be compete this level.”

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Makhachev was projected to be next in line for a title shot after making quick work of Bobby Green at UFC Fight Night 202 and extending his winning streak to 10. He even offered to step in as a short-notice replacement to face Rafael dos Anjos this past Saturday at UFC 272, which White says he ended up declining.

As a result, an irked White said Makhachev will now have to face Beneil Dariush, whom he was originally scheduled to face before Green replaced him. Makhachev, however, denies the claim that he turned down the fight and can’t see a scenario where McGregor gets the winner of Oliveira vs. Justin Gaethje at UFC 274 in May.

Makhachev is willing to fight McGregor at some point, though, who called him out after he beat Green.

“Let’s go. Let’s do it,” Makhachev said. “Why not? He’s just playing games. He’s never gonna take this fight. He’s playing a little bit of a game and because he knows. It’s gonna be a long night for him (like) what Khabib did with him because he’s not the same now. When he fought Khabib, he was in good shape, not drunk too much, but now he has to retire. This guy has money, everything, but if he wants to come back, let’s do it. I will be happy to smash him.”


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