On Feb. 28, news broke that Rafael Fiziev was out of his co-main event bout with dos Anjos at UFC 272 after contracting COVID-19.
That same day, Islam Makhachev’s twitter account posted a message displaying a willingness to step in and accept the fight.
Everyone including UFC President Dana White thought the fight was a done deal. Both fighter’s seemingly agreed to the five-round co-main, but in an interview with Barstool Sports, White confirmed that Makhachev turned down the opportunity with little explanation as to why.
“Pretty close – I thought we had it done,” said White. “When I went to bed one of the nights, I thought it was done. Woke up the next morning and found out they turned it down. Islam [turned it down]. No clue [why].”
“The best fight that we could possibly make would have been him and Islam. RDA and Islam,” White said. “Islam turns down the fight. What’s the best fight you can make? [Renato] Moicano.”
Renato Moicano (16-4-1) who is currently riding a two fight win streak, will step in to face RDA on Saturday night. We just saw Moicano at UFC 271 in February when he defeated Alexander Hernandez via second round submission.
Words Have Consequences
Makhachev (21-1-0) was originally scheduled to face Beneil Dariush on Feb. 26, but Dariush pulled out of the bout due to an ankle injury. ‘King’ Bobby Green agreed to step in two weeks after defeating Nasrat Haqparast at UFC 271. Green would lose the bout convincingly in the first round.
After his first round destruction of Bobby Green, the general consensus believed that Makhachev was next in line for a lightweight title shot. Riding a 10-fight win streak, it would be hard to argue against, but it appears turning down the fight against RDA may have consequences.
“Since he turned down this fight, we’re going to remake the Dariush fight. We’ll get that fight going. Dying to see that fight. He gets through Dariush, very interesting.” (Transcribed by MMA Fighting)
Do you believe Makhachev has done enough to earn a title shot or should he have to face Dariush?
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