Javier Mendez Understands Why Top Lightweights Don’t Want to Fight Islam Makhachev
By FCF Staff
Islam Makhachev has yet to be booked for his next fight, and American Kickboxing Academy’s striking coach, Javier Mendez, understands why.
Makhachev (18-1) is coming off a decision win over Davi Ramos at UFC 242 in September, which moved his UFC record to 7-1. The 28-year-old, who is currently ranked #14, has been calling for bouts with top contenders, including Kevin Lee, but nothing has materialized.
While talking with MMA Junkie recently, Mendez had this to say about Makhachev, and his inability to secure his next fight.
“…the guys that are higher level, that are available, are not wanting to go bat up with Islam. To be honest with you, I probably don’t blame them, and the other ones that would fight him (are) in a conflict or injury or whatever, but it’s tough right now. I was told from his manager that they’re trying to get him matched, but they’re having a tough time with him because where do you put him?”
“He’s that good. Do you risk it for him because he’s not as ranked as he should be?” Mendez said. “He should be ranked in the top 10 or under by far, but he’s not, so what do you do with him? He’s that dangerous.
“Personally, if I had to fight him, I’d probably say wait until he gets a bigger name then we’ll fight him. Islam is having a hell of a time getting opponents because nobody wants to fight him.”
Lee, who has said he is willing to fight Makhachev, is currently booked to fight Charles Oliveira at UFC Brasilia, March 14th.