“If he deserves it, then yes”: Islam Makhachev open to boxing match with Conor McGregor under ‘harsh’ conditions

Islam Makhachev, the incumbent UFC lightweight champion, was recently asked about MMA fighters competing inside the boxing ring. Conor McGregor was the first to start the trend against Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Recently, Francis Ngannou surprised many with his boxing skills against WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury. Makhavhev, who is fresh off a TKO victory at UFC 294, entertains the idea of fighting Conor McGregor inside the boxing ring or the Octagon.

Islam Makhachev open to boxing match with Conor McGregor

Islam Makhachev was recently interviewed on a Russian television show that delved into the topic of combat sports and his upcoming opponents. Makhachev was one-half of the headliner of the UFC PPV in Abu Dhabi. In a commanding performance, he finished featherweight champion, Alexander Volkanovski in the second round of the main event of UFC 294.

In the interview, Makhachev praised the former UFC heavyweight champion who recently had a split draw against Tyson Fury in Riyadh. Ngannou even scored a knockdown in the bout with Fury. Makhachev stated, “Tyson Fury portrayed boxing in a negative light.” The lightweight champion is open to the idea of pursuing boxing in the future after seeing Ngannou’s success.

When asked about potentially facing Conor McGregor, Makhachev remained respectful. It appeared that the Russian fighter was willing to take on any opponent the promotion offered him. However, Makhachev emphasized that earning a title shot requires a winning streak. Luckily for Conor McGregor, his star power alone might make it possible.

Makhachev will be looking for his third title defense in early 2024 before taking a lay-off for Ramadan. McGregor, on the other hand, is presumed to make his long-awaited comeback at UFC 300 in April against Michael Chandler, a former title challenger and McGregor’s rival coach in the recently concluded 31st season of The Ultimate Fighter.

Islam Makhachev’s coach speaks on possible Conor McGregor fight

Javier Mendez, the head coach of American Kickboxing Academy, in San Jose, California is one of the best MMA coaches in the game. His student list includes acclaimed UFC fighters. To name a few, former UFC champions, Khabib Nurmagomedov, Daniel Cormier, Luke Rockhold, and Cain Velasquez trained at AKA under Mendez.

Mendez was an acclaimed kickboxer who earned the moniker, “Thunder” at the kickboxing circuit. At present, Mendez is the head coach of the lightweight champions of both Bellator MMA and UFC, Usman Nurmagomedov and Islam Makhachev, respectively. Mendez has great words to say about his pupils from Dagestan.

Coach Mendez has always showered respect to the opponents his pupils face. Be it Alexander Volkanovski, Dustin Poirier, or Justin Gaethje, Mendez has immense respect for the fighters. However, Mendez is not a fan of Conor McGregor. McGregor’s trash talk against Khabib Nurmagomedov preluding UFC 229 went over the limit and it caused some unforeseen moments at UFC 229.

Mendez was recently asked about the possibility of McGregor fighting his star pupil, Islam Makhachev. “This will be good money for Islam.” Mendez said of it. However, Mendez does not see a fight with Conor McGregor as beneficial for the legacy of Makhachev. Makhachev wants to build a legacy and according to Mendez, claiming a second title at Welterweight is the best option for it.

Do you foresee a matchup of Islam Makhachev vs. Conor McGregor? If Yes, who do you think will emerge victorious?


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