Islam Makhachev's criticism of the organization's promotion of UFC 284 is unjustified, according to UFC President Dana White.
This Saturday's UFC 284 main event will pit Makhachev against UFC Featherweight Champion Alexander Volkanovski.
Despite being just days away from what will likely be his biggest fight of his career, Makhachev is dissatisfied with the way UFC 284 has been promoted. He believes that he and Volkanovski should have been allowed to go on a global media tour, among other promotional activities, in the run-up to fight night.
This weekend, UFC 284 has the potential to break Conor McGregor's pay-per-view record. When White learned of Makhachev's remarks, he responded against the UFC lightweight champion.
During a recent appearance on The Jim Rome Show, White addressed Makhachev's criticisms of UFC 284 marketing.
Yeah, that’s not true,” White replied. “First of all, I’ve talked to Islam. First of all, who interviewed him? Who translated for him? I mean, the guy speaks Russian. Taken out of context.
“First of all, he lives in Dagestan. What does he know about what’s going on for the promotion of the fight? He doesn’t know anything,” White continued on Makhachev.
"And this thing is trending right now to be the biggest pay-per-view event in Australia, which, it’s like six percent behind the Conor McGregor [vs. Dustin] Poirier 3 fight. It’s probably going to break the record. So to say that the fight hasn’t been [promoted], that’s just ridiculous. That’s what you call some internet BS.”
By winning this weekend, Makhachev, Khabib Nurmagomedov's top protege, could take over the #1 slot in the UFC's pound-for-pound rankings.
Despite Makhachev's reservations, his fight with Volkanovski will undoubtedly be one of the biggest in 2023.