Last week, UFC President Dana White stated in an interview with Barstool Sports that Islam Makhachev turned down a short notice fight against Rafael Dos Anjos at UFC 272.
On Monday, during an interview with ESPN, Makhechev explained his side of the story as to why the fight between himself and Dos Anjos didn’t come to fruition at UFC 272, this past weekend.
“Dana says I turned down this fight, but Monday morning, when I wake up, I just saw some news like [Rafael] Fiziev have Covid, the fight is canceled,” Makhachev told ESPN.
“I’ve been in California on vacation, and I wake up and call my manager, ‘Hey Ali [Abdelaziz], I saw some news. Please call UFC and say I am ready for take this fight,’ and I ask about some condition. Very small condition. Nothing big or not possible to do. And not UFC call me. Not Ali call me. I wake up and I call Ali and I tell him, ‘Hey, contact with UFC please, I want this fight. But the UFC not do it, that’s why the fight not happen.
“But now, people think UFC called me and tried to make this fight, but I call UFC and I ask about this fight.”
Makhachev went on to explain how after watching Dos Anjos fight at UFC 272, he thinks a fight against him wouldn’t have really done anything to help build his case towards earning the next lightweight title shot, which is his current goal.
“But anyway, you know, I sit in first row, watched this fight. Dos Anjos not my level fighter. And what he can give me? If I beat him, people like still be talking like this is old man, he’s not from Top 5, and that’s it.
Now [Dana White] say, Islam has to fight against [Beneil] Dariush, and I have no problem fight versus him, but who have to fight for the title next? I don’t know.”