Justin Gaethje has told Islam Makhachev to do his job and fight Beneil Dariush.
After Makhachev submitted Dan Hooker at UFC 267, he called for a lightweight title shot. Yet, “The Highlight” has made it clear he is next in line after his win over Michael Chandler and has blasted Makhachev for even thinking he should be next. Instead, the former interim champ believes the Dagestani native should fight Dariush to determine the next contender after him.
“Makhachev fought No. 14, went to No. 5, and fought a late replacement in Dan Hooker,” Gaethje said on the “UFC Unfiltered” podcast. “It wasn’t Dan Hooker on a full camp. It does not count as much, but still, it’s two top 15 guys, none in the top five, only one in the top 10. That’s not how this sh*t works. Do your f*cking job, fight these guys, and Beneil Dariush is right here. And I like the dude, he’s my friend so you know I’m just going to jump over this man and expect to get a title shot when the No. 3 guy is Beneil Dariush. Handle that. That has to be handled.”
After hearing of what Justin Gaethje said, Islam Makhachev then took to social media to send a subtweet to Gaethje saying they’ll go to war. It adds drama to the lightweight picture that is uncertain on which of three will get the shot.
“So we’ll go to war,” Makhachev wrote.
Although both Gaethje and Makhachev believe they deserve the next lightweight title shot, the UFC hasn’t said who will be next. Before either of them fight next, Dustin Poirier will challenge Charles Oliveira for the lightweight title in the main event of UFC 269 on December 11.
Gaethje returned to the win column last time out after being submitted by Khabib Nurmagomedov for the belt. Makhachev, meanwhile, is on a nine-fight winning streak.