Morning Report: Islam Makhachev admits he’d ‘be stupid to say no’ to a Conor McGregor fight

There is a parallel universe where Islam Makhachev and Conor McGregor fight, and it could be this one.

McGregor’s 2018 title bid opposite the all-time great lightweight champion at the time, Khabib Nurmagomedov, will never be forgotten for countless reasons. The fight itself, what happened afterward, the volatility in the build-up, how the pair almost single-handedly canceled an entire event thanks to their rivalry, the list goes on and on.

There are absolutely zero reasons to believe six years later that a fight between the now-35-year-old McGregor and Nurmagomedov’s star protege-turned-champion, Makhachev, goes any differently. In reality, it has a stronger chance of being worse for McGregor. However, that wouldn’t at all stop Makhachev from agreeing to such a matchup with MMA’s transcendent largest-ever megastar. In his book, it’s the definition of easy money.

“Everybody can finish Conor 10 times,” Makhachev said on Pound 4 Pound. “I don’t think he will cut weight [for me]. Brother, why not? People have to be stupid to say no. Of course, I will fight with him.

“When will I fight next? October or November, I can fight August or September with McGregor. This guy not same. I don’t want to, like, make him look bad, but everybody know this guy not same. Before, yeah, for sure. When he was fighting with Khabib, he was in a good shape. He was a high-level fighter. But right now, too much alcohol, too much whiskey.”

McGregor’s next fight will be his first since he was knocked out by Dustin Poirier and subsequently broke his leg in their trilogy three years ago. At UFC 303, “The Notorious” will be welcomed back by Michael Chandler in a welterweight affair in Las Vegas on June 29. Thanks to his status, one win is all it ever takes for McGregor to have a case for a title shot no matter the division. So, whether it makes sense or not, we could be closer to a McGregor title fight than we want to admit.

Before the big International Fight Week return, Makhachev will defend his title against the aforementioned Poirier in Newark, New Jersey at UFC 302 on June 1. Awaiting the winner is top contender Arman Tsarukyan. Then it’s the unknown for Makhachev should he hold off “The Diamond.” The reigning champion doesn’t see anything left for him in the division and he wants his second title.

After already expressing his disinterest in a matchup with someone like former featherweight champion Max Holloway, who’s in a unique position as the current BMF titleholder, Makhachev reiterated that previous sentiment.

“I already beat Arman,” Makhachev said. “Of course, I want to fight with Dustin. It’s very exciting for me. It’s a very dangerous guy. He’s a very good striker, most dangerous guy in my division in all UFC. I want to beat this guy, and I think Arman is deserving. This is the rematch, but when I beat Arman, I don’t have any job in my division.

“Max Holloway is not 155 fighter. He beat [Justin] Gaethje, but he have job in his division. Now, maybe he fight with [Ilia] Topuria. After, he have Movsar Evloev. He have some job in his division, and I already give some chance to small guy. Now I need my chance fight for welterweight title.”

Belts. Tom Aspinall blames Jon Jones for ‘holding sh*t up,’ reacts to UFC 304 interim title defense

Uncertain. Aspen Ladd still confused about PFL-Bellator’s plans for women’s featherweight division

Levels. Patchy Mix: ‘I would finish Sean O’Malley without a damn doubt,’ expects Merab Dvalishvili to do the same

Emotions. Themba Gorimbo promises spectacular win at UFC Vegas 92 in honor of coach’s late mother

Weird. Dan Hardy questions Cedric Doumbe’s focus after bizarre splinter loss

Whoops. Bellator Paris weigh-in results: Title fight official, one fighter misses

Optimism. Turki Alalshikh wants next UFC Saudi Arabia card to be ‘2 or 3 times’ bigger than June 22 event

Random. Renato Moicano calls out ‘motherf*cking steroid abuserRyan Garcia

Between the Links.

UFC Vegas 92 Preview.

Nothing like a spinning wheel kick.

Free fight.

Bellator Paris Fight Week.

Deep Tokyo Impact 3rd Round trailer.

Poatan techniques.

Fancy Side Control Escape From Bottom.

Bangtao sparring.

Arnold in NY.

Go to Twitter, use the #MorningReport hashtag, or find one of my tweets with it, and drop me a jam you’re currently really into. I’ll pick the best one alongside my daily choice and give you a shoutout! You can also share in the comments below — those are just harder to sift through sometimes!



Paulo Vegas.

The rematch.


Troll, you are.

So many eyes.

Cody Durden (16-5-1) vs. Bruno Silva (13-5-2, 1 NC); UFC Vegas 94, July 20

Leon Edwards (22-3, 1 NC) vs. Belal Muhammad (23-3, 1 NC); UFC 304, July 27

Tom Aspinall (14-3) vs. Curtis Blaydes (18-4, 1 NC); UFC 304, July 27

Bobby Green (32-15-1, 1 NC) vs. Paddy Pimblett (21-3); UFC 304, July 27

Islam isn’t wrong but that doesn’t mean we want or need to see it. Right? RIGHT?!

Happy Friday, everyone! Another great combat sports weekend has arrived. Enjoy all the action at your disposal. Thanks for reading and see you Monday.


Will Conor McGregor fight for a UFC title if he beats Michael Chandler?

If you find something you’d like to see in the Morning Report, hit up @DrakeRiggs_ on Twitter and let him know about it. Also, follow MMAFighting on Instagram and like us on Facebook.

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