Daniel Cormier had thought Islam Makhachev did enough to get the next lightweight title shot after his win over Dan Hooker at UFC 267. Now, however, that is no longer the case after UFC 268.
Opening up the pay-per-view card was a lightweight banger of a fight between Justin Gaethje and Michael Chandler. In the lead-up to the fight, both men said the winner of this fight would get the next lightweight title shot. Although it wasn’t confirmed after Gaethje got the decision win in easily the best fight of 2021, Cormier believes “The Highlight” deserves the next title shot.
“Chandler came out throwing everything with 100 percent power, but Gaethje was just there and landing, answering and just really doing his thing,” Cormier said on his YouTube channel (via MMAJunkie). “That whole thing with Justin Gaethje last weekend, I said what I felt and he took offense. But all week, not one second was Justin Gaethje mad at me, upset or approached me in an angry way.
“He spoke about it in that moment, and you know what? Last night he went out there and did what he had to do in order to ensure that he keeps his championship fight, because he fought Michael Chandler and beat Michael Chandler – a very trained, well-prepared Michael Chandler,” Cormier said. “So hat’s off to Justin Gaethje, and honestly, I believe that he will be the guy to fight for the belt next.”
With Daniel Cormier thinking that Justin Gaethje should get the next lightweight title shot, he says Islam Makhachev will have to fight one more time. Yet, for DC, he doesn’t think that will be a bad thing for the Dagestani native.
“Islam will have to fight again, and that’s OK because I believe that Islam will be able to handle just about any challenges in front of him,” Cormier said. “You have to, right? If you’re going to be the champ, you have to.”