Islam Makhachev says he never turned down a fight against Rafael dos Anjos at UFC 272.
After Rafael Fiziev tested positive for COVID-19, Makhachev went to social media to say he was interested in the fight. However, after dos Anjos agreed to do it, Dana White revealed the Dagestani native turned it down so Renato Moicano got the fight.
Now, after the event, Makhachev did an interview with ESPN where he refuted the claim he turned the fight down.
“I just want to help UFC, for the fans, for everybody, because this is a pay-per-view show, big show.” he said. “I just asked for very small condition, but UFC say no, and that’s it… I don’t know. It’s okay. I don’t know. He can say whatever he wants, but it doesn’t matter. I’m going to fight anyone because I’m going to be champion and fight all these guys in top 10, beat all these guys.”
Although Islam Makhachev did not fight Rafael dos Anjos, he says had he been the one fighting at UFC 272 it would’ve been an easy win for him. He wasn’t impressed with the Brazilian’s performance and believes he would’ve mauled him.
With Makhachev allegedly turning down the fight, Makhachev will now need to face Beneil Dariush next, who he was supposed to fight two weeks ago.
“But anyway, you know, I sit and watched this fight. Dos Anjos not my level of fighter. What can he give me?” he said. “If I beat him, people will be talking like this is old man, he’s not from top five, and that’s it. Now Dana say I have to fight (Beneil) Dariush. I have no problem fighting him, but who has to fight for the title next?”
Makhachev is coming off a TKO win over Bobby Green and prior to that, he beat Dan Hooker by first-round submission.