Makhachev’s Coach Dismisses Holloway’s Threat

May 21, 2024
4 weeks
Makhachev's Coach Dismisses Holloway's Threat

Max Holloway does not pose Islam Makhachev any threat if they square off in the Octagon. 

That is according to Makhachev’s coach, Javier Mendez. Makhachev defends his UFC Lightweight Title for the third time against Dustin Poirier at UFC 302 on June 1. He secured the belt in 2022 after beating Charles Oliveira at UFC 280. He followed up the win by beating Alexander Volkanovski twice. Holloway secured the biggest win of his career at UFC 300 against Justin Gaethje.

He stopped ‘The Highlight’ with a second left in the fight to become the BMF Champion. That was only Holloway’s second appearance as a lightweight. Makhachev was considered a possible opponent for Holloway, alongside UFC Featherweight Champion Ilia Topuria. However, Mendez ruled out the threat posed by Holloway, saying his fighter had too much for the American. 

Makhachev’s Power

“It’ll be a grueling situation for Max [Holloway], not as much for Islam [Makhachev] because Max doesn’t really have great wrestling defense, nor does he care to have it. I don’t look at him as a huge threat, though he’s proven us wrong [before]. The fans might want to see it, so if the fans want to see it, the UFC offers it, there it is,” Mendez said 

Islam is doing everything he can to prepare for Poirier. Dustin has spoken about winning his first world title before he can retire. He bounced back from his defeat to Gaethje at UFC 291 by stopping Benoit Saint-Denis in his last fight at UFC 299. Makhachev has enlisted the help of Khabib Nurmagomedov, who beat Poirier at UFC 242 in 2019. Dustin came close to choking Khabib, only for the Russian to wriggle his way out and choke Poirier. 

Poirier’s Mindset

“I just have a lot of stuff that kinda gets put on hold, so to say, for me to chase these dreams and stuff like that…. I’m approaching 18 years of fighting, and I wanna become the world champion and live my life, you know? …. It could be [my last fight].

“I haven’t made an official decision yet, but it could be. I’ve said this over and over again: I still have a lot of tread on the tyres I can beat these young guys – I just did it. But how much do I want to give to this sport because you don’t ride for free,” Dustin stated

If Islam beats Poirier and Holloway is not next, Charles Oliveira has thrown his name into the hat to face the BMF Champion. Holloway and Oliveira faced off in 2015. Holloway came out victorious, but it did end on a dour note. The fight was stopped in round one after Oliveira suffered an eye injury.

Oliveira would recover to beat Poirier at UFC 269 to win the UFC Lightweight Title. However, after defending it against Gaethje, he would lose to Mackhachev, the current champion. Oliveira is not in the best form, having lost to Arman Tsarukyan in his last fight at UFC 300. But he could redeem himself by beating Holloway. 

“Absolutely, that one, about the legacy, about everything I’ve been talking about. Why not? Win a belt, a guy that I fought many years ago. Where I had an injury during the fight so why not?” Oliveira said 

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