“He knows what he’s talking about,” Coach backs Islam Makhachev to challenge Leon Edwards after sparring session in 2015
Islam Makhachev wants to compete for the welterweight title, and his coach is confident about winning the welterweight belt.
Leon Edwards and Islam Makhachev (Image Courtesy - Daily Star/Instagram)
Islam Makhachev will defend his title against Charles Oliveira at UFC 294. His coach Javier Mendez went on the Submission Radio Podcast to talk about the upcoming matchup and the future of the lightweight champion. The hosts discussed the possibility of Leon Edwards fighting Islam Makhachev in the future. Mendez seemed open to the idea of the Dagestani fighting the Englishman.
Javier Mendez said, “That was Islam’s first sparring when Leon came to us back in 2015. That was the very first person that Islam got to spar. They just sparred and went at it very good. They more or less know what they can do with each other. He (Islam) knows what he’s talking about when he wants to fight at the division. He’s tested himself with bigger guys.”
Coach Mendez also stated that Leon Edwards learned nothing new with his stint at AKA. Part of the problem was the time limit, but Coach Mendez was happy to see Leon fulfill his dream of winning a UFC gold. Mendez also praised Edwards and expected him to defeat Colby Covington at UFC 295. In recent times, Makhachev has declared an interest in competing for the 170-pound title.
Javier Mendez remains confident of Makhachev’s ability to win the title in the 170-pound division. However, before going up a weight class, he has to defeat Oliveira and convincingly solve the puzzle of Alexander Volkanovski. Then, there is also the challenge of Justin Gaethje, and Makhachev will have his hands full if he defends his title at UFC 294.
Michael Chandler picks Justin Gaethje to dethrone Islam Makhachev
Lightweight contender, Michael Chandler believes that Justin Gaethje has the best chance to finish the dominant reign of Islam Makhachev. Makhachev has only tasted one defeat in his career. However, Chandler has picked the BMF champion to defeat Makhachev.
Chandler said, “Justin Gaethje is on a quest to win a world title, and I think Justin Gaethje will go out there and win a world title. Whether it’s Makhachev or Oliveira, Gaethje’s going to get that title fight next. I think Justin Gaethje is the UFC lightweight champion by the first quarter of next year. I think he beats Islam.”
Chandler fought Gaethje in a Fight of the Year Candidate at UFC 263. He has also seen improvements in Gaethje’s fighting style to believe that the BMF champion can reign as the lightweight champion as early as the first quarter of 2024.
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