This past weekend in the main event of UFC Vegas 49, we saw a matchup between two dynamic lightweight contenders. The surging top contender Islam Makhachev (22-1) was taking on a veteran of the fight game in the “King” Bobby Green (29-13, 1 NC).
Now, it was not the fight that we were supposed to see at UFC Vegas 49. Originally, Makhachev was supposed to face off against Beneil Dariush (21-4-1). That matchup would’ve been pairing two top five contenders against each other and many thought it was a title eliminator.
However, Dariush got injured at the last minute and the unranked Bobby Green stepped in on short-notice. Makhachev did what he needed to do and he ran through Bobby Green in the first round at UFC Vegas 49.
What’s next after UFC Vegas 49?
Earlier this week, it looked like Islam Makhachev was going to have a very fast turnaround. After Rafael Fiziev fell out of the co-main event of UFC 272’s fight against Rafael Dos Anjos (30-13), Makhachev volunteered to step in on short-notice.
I have heard that RDA accepted the fight. However, for one reason or another, there were issues on the Makhachev side in getting the fight done. His camp believes he’s in the drivers seat for a UFC title shot so there was hesitancy in taking a fight against the former champion on short-notice.
Whatever the truth is, we might never know. So what is next for Islam Makhachev? Well, his camp believes that he should be facing the winner of Charles Oliveira – Justin Gaethje for the lightweight title. While that’s certainly a possibility, it’s far from a guarantee.
The UFC doesn’t know what will be next for the lightweight title after the May fight. Whether people like it or not, Conor McGregor factors into the decision there especially if Charles Oliveira retains the title.
Something tells me that Islam is not going to be fighting for the UFC title next. Don’t know why, but I don’t see it happening. With that, I could see them putting back together the Dariush fight if Dariush can return in a decent amount of time. Dana White has already expressed interest.
However, the fight I think that’ll happen is him against RDA. There’s heat there and it makes sense. I think Makhachev needs another top five-ten win to get a title shot and a win over RDA would get him that.