Khabib Questions UFC’s Matchmaking Ahead of Milestone Event

"Khabib Questions UFC's Matchmaking Logic"

In a recent interview, Khabib Nurmagomedov expressed his bafflement over the UFC’s decision to set up a fight between Max Holloway and Justin Gaethje for the UFC 300 event. Nurmagomedov, the undefeated former champion, believes this decision could potentially undermine the positions of both featherweight champion Ilia Topuria and lightweight champion Islam Makhachev.

Fan Favorites Set to Clash in Unconventional Matchup

The pairing of Holloway and Gaethje, both beloved by fans for their thrilling fighting styles, has sparked excitement for UFC 300. Holloway is stepping up to lightweight for the first time since his 2019 loss to Dustin Poirier, while Gaethje has earned his shot at the lightweight title through victories over Rafael Fiziev and Poirier. Khabib, however, finds the matchup perplexing, suggesting alternative fights that, in his view, would make more sense in the championship picture.

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Khabib’s Proposed Matchmaking Logic

“With all due respect to Max Holloway, I don’t know and I don’t understand why UFC is making this match,” Khabib commented. He proposed that Holloway should face Topuria next, possibly in September, while Gaethje should take on Makhachev in May or June. Khabib also suggested a fight between Arman Tsarukyan and Charles Oliveira in April, with the winner facing the victor of Makhachev vs. Gaethje in Abu Dhabi by year’s end.

Potential Consequences for the Featherweight and Lightweight Divisions

Despite the excitement surrounding the Holloway vs. Gaethje fight, Khabib raises concerns about the future matchups for Topuria and Makhachev. If Holloway loses, it complicates who Topuria might face next, while Makhachev awaits a worthy opponent. Khabib’s comments reflect his concerns over the UFC’s long-term planning for its champions and contenders.


Khabib’s Critique on the Matchmaking: “With all due respect to Max Holloway, I don’t know and I don’t understand why UFC is making this match. Justin Gaethje vs. Max Holloway doesn’t make sense to me. My opinion is that Holloway should fight Topuria next, maybe in September. Justin Gaethje should fight Islam in May or June, and Tsarukyan vs. Oliveira, they fight in April. The winner of that should face the winner of Islam vs. Justin Gaethje at the end of the year in Abu Dhabi. I think that’s more reasonable.”

On Potential Opponents for Topuria and Makhachev: “Who will Topuria fight now if Holloway loses? Movsar is the best option. I don’t know if Dana White will give him (the title shot). I think he deserves it. I don’t understand why they are not giving Islam Justin Gaethje.”

Khabib’s Concern for UFC’s Planning: “I don’t understand what UFC has planned, but Islam is ready to face anyone.”

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