Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

If his actions haven’t already spoken loud enough, Islam Makhachev wants to make it clear that he’ll go through anyone and everyone to prove that he’s not to be taken lightly.

As the UFC lightweight division’s current “Dagestani Destroyer,” Makhachev has won 10 straight bouts and only tasted defeat on a single occasion. Thus positioning him comfortably in line for the winner of May’s title clash between the champion Charles Oliveira and Justin Gaethje.

However, one popular Irishman is always a possibility to slide his way into the mix. But Makhachev isn’t worried about “The Notorious” and sees himself capturing and defending the title before a run at 170-pounds.

“They say Conor [McGregor] is maybe going to come back and fight for the title,” Makhachev told ESPN. “When he fought last time in the lightweight division and won was 2016? Five-six years ago. I’m gonna take this belt, defend 35 times, and I’m gonna come to the welterweight division.

“I saw this fight [from UFC 272], I was in first row when [Jorge] Masvidal fought Colby [Covington]. These guys… Honestly, I really believe I can beat these guys one night, both. Colby, he has just wrestling. I can beat him easy in wrestling. His striking is very slow. Other guy, Masvidal, I think he’s so old now he just makes some money, maybe a couple more fights, he’s gonna retire.”

Makhachev’s 10th straight victory out of his overall 22 came in the main event of UFC Vegas 49 two weeks ago opposite Bobby Green. Needing just three minutes and 23 seconds, Makhachev finished Green with strikes on the ground in a bout that was originally supposed to see him square off with Beneil Dariush. The MMA gods would have other plans though as Dariush suffered an ankle injury.

This past weekend, Rafael dos Anjos, a past booked opponent of Makhachev’s, needed a fill-in of his own after Rafael Fiziev tested positive for COVID-19. Makhachev stepped up to the plate revealing his interest on Twitter before negotiations eventually broke down. On The MMA Hour on Monday, dos Anjos claimed that Makhachev requested $1 million for the short-notice meeting.

“I don’t want to talk about this, very small. Nothing big,” Makhachev said of his requests to fill in. “Not million dollars, 100 percent not million dollars.”

“Dana [White] said I turned down this fight but Monday morning when I wake up, I just saw some news like Fiziev had COVID, the fight is canceled and I’d been in California on vacation and I wake up and call my manager,” Makhachev said. “‘Hey, Ali [Abdelaziz]. I saw some news. Please call UFC and say I’m ready for take this fight.’ I asked about some conditions but very small conditions, nothing big that wasn’t possible to do. UFC [didn’t] call me, not Ali call me, I wake up and I call Ali and I tell him talk with UFC please, I want this fight. But UFC not do it. That’s why the fight didn’t happen and that’s it.”

Admitting wanting to help out the fans and a big UFC card, Makhachev now feels he’s being looked at as “the bad guy” in a sense. When it comes to dos Anjos who he has been matched up with on three separate occasions, he now feels even more confident in how the fight would go.

“But now everybody thinks UFC called me and tried to make this fight but I call UFC and I ask about this fight,” Makhachev said. “Anyway, I sit in first row, I watch this fight, dos Anjos is not on my level of fighter and what he can give me. If I beat him, people will still be talking like, ‘This is old man, he’s not from top 5.’ Now Dana says, ‘Islam has to fight vs. Dariush.’ I have no problem fighting him but who has to fight for the title next? I don’t know. [Dustin] Poirier? He lost many times. [Michael] Chandler lost. [Dan] Hooker, Tony Ferguson, everybody — ‘RDA’ has four fights just two wins. [Gregor] Gillespie has fought one time in three years. Who has to fight for the title? I don’t know.”

TOP STORIES

Window. Kayla Harrison begins to worry she’s going to miss out on the opportunity to prove she’s the best in the world.

Denied. ‘Reckless’ Cain Velasquez denied bail in attempted murder case.

Life. Ukraine’s Maryna Moroz reflects on difficult circumstances ahead of UFC 272 bout.

Critical. Kevin Holland wasn’t happy with his UFC 272 performance despite earning a performance bonus.

Takeaways. MMA Fighting’s Shaun Al-Shatti looks at the beginning of the end of an era following UFC 272.

Old. WWE champion Brock Lesnar closes the door on a return to MMA.

VIDEO STEW

The MMA Hour.

On To the Next One LIVE.

The Chael Sonnen Show.

Side control secrets.

SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE

Cyborg and CCC.

Leveling up! @BellatorMMA @HenryCejudo Fight News Soon! @arielhelwani pic.twitter.com/xoKlEupdK7

— @CrisCyborg #NCF12 Sat 3/12 NCFights.Com (@criscyborg) March 8, 2022

Kayla is unimpressed…

He cant save you. One gold medal Havin ass. @HenryCejudo https://t.co/99s53m78Lk

— Kayla Harrison (@KaylaH) March 8, 2022

But so is Cyborg…

No. I remember Ronda use to mention my name but NEVER really wanted to fight me. You remind me Ronda.

— @CrisCyborg #NCF12 Sat 3/12 NCFights.Com (@criscyborg) March 8, 2022

Nah. I blocked her cause she. Could have signed with @BellatorMMA and made the fight but didn’t

— @CrisCyborg #NCF12 Sat 3/12 NCFights.Com (@criscyborg) March 8, 2022

Tell me you only got 50K followers without telling me you only have 50K…engagement farming is so basic https://t.co/dz7pPsbd4q

— @CrisCyborg #NCF12 Sat 3/12 NCFights.Com (@criscyborg) March 8, 2022

Khamzat at Xtreme Couture.

⌖ The Borz Are Back In Town ⌖@KChimaev @XC_MMA pic.twitter.com/0bqi03G77e

— Eric Nicksick (@Eric_XCMMA) March 8, 2022

The beginning.

I am just starting pic.twitter.com/b5V6qthd30

— Umar Nurmagomedov (@UNmgdv) March 7, 2022

Elliott is right back at it!

Triple OG @TElliott125 back in the gym already. I want to be like you when I grow up dawg! pic.twitter.com/2LYhnQEbNJ

— Jeff Molina (@jmolina_125) March 7, 2022

Welcome to JW.

Marina wants her shot, folks.

Classic chaos.

Monday Muay Thai with “The Dominator.”

Chihiro’s big Landmark main event win.

Instant classic.

Happy anniversary to one of the greatest fights we have ever seen pic.twitter.com/zVPSSdt3Qa

— UFC (@ufc) March 7, 2022

CCC and Gamebred?

I think I could help Jorge become a more technical fighter. He’s too smart.

I’ve always had so much love for that dude. I’m bummed out that I haven’t been able to have that relationship with him. My door will always be open for @GamebredFighter.

: https://t.co/UdDU2sflhv pic.twitter.com/V3v0ATdqyv

— Henry Cejudo (@HenryCejudo) March 7, 2022

Goodnight!

DAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAMN pic.twitter.com/6fCxDTRNXU

— Cerebral Vigilante (@Delisketo) March 7, 2022

FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Gunnar Nelson (17-5-1) vs. Takashi Sato (14-3); UFC London, Mar. 19

FINAL THOUGHTS

Man, Islam vs. Colby is a pretty fascinating matchup. I kind of hope we get to see it someday now. It’s certainly far more interesting than Usman vs. Canelo…

Thanks for reading!

EXIT POLL

If you find something you’d like to see in the Morning Report, hit up @DrakeRiggs_ on Twitter and let him know about it. Also follow MMAFighting on Instagram and like us on Facebook.

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