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Islam Makhachev Challenges Jon Jones' Pound-for-Pound Ranking

In a heated response to Jon Jones' recent ascent to the top of the UFC Pound-for-Pound rankings, Islam Makhachev, the rising lightweight star, voiced his disbelief and frustration.

Makhachev, fresh off a successful title defense against Alexander Volkanovski, expressed his conviction that he, not Jones, should hold the coveted title of the world's best fighter. At UFC 284 in Perth, Australia, Makhachev and Volkanovski clashed in a monumental battle for pound-for-pound supremacy.

Despite an intense back-and-forth affair, Makhachev emerged victorious via unanimous decision, solidifying his status as the lightweight champion. However, to his surprise, the rankings remained unchanged, with Volkanovski retaining the No. 2 spot and Makhachev settling for No. 3.

Makhachev's frustration reached its peak when Jon Jones, a three-time light heavyweight champion and widely regarded as one of the greatest fighters in history, returned to the octagon at UFC 285. Making his heavyweight debut, Jones swiftly submitted Ciryl Gane, earning himself the vacant title and reclaiming the No. 1 pound-for-pound ranking. Yet, for Makhachev, the circumstances surrounding Jones' rise to the top were far from satisfactory.

"This is bullshit, brother," Makhachev passionately expressed to Daniel Cormier. "How can Jon Jones be No. 1? He beat a guy who isn't a champion. This guy (Gane) doesn't have a belt, and they put him at No. 1 pound-for-pound. This is bullshit. People who truly understand MMA know who the best fighter in the world is. Don't call me the lightweight champion. Call me the pound-for-pound best fighter."

While Makhachev's sentiment may stem from his unwavering confidence, his argument holds weight. With an impressive record boasting just a single loss in over 25 fights, both he and Jones have established themselves as dominant forces in the UFC. However, Makhachev has yet to venture beyond the lightweight division, whereas Jones has now conquered a new weight class.

Undeterred by the circumstances, Makhachev envisions a future in which he becomes a dual-division champion. Expressing his desire to eventually challenge welterweight contender Leon Edwards, Makhachev believes that once he secures a second belt, he will rightfully be recognized as the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world.

"This is my dream, and I'm certain I can be a double champion," Makhachev proclaimed with determination. "I can defeat Leon Edwards. He may have displayed good takedown defense, but it'll be different with me. I can strike with him, I can grapple with him, wrestle him. Anywhere the fight goes, I can beat this guy. Just give me one chance, and that's it. Perhaps once I win a second belt, they'll acknowledge me as the best pound-for-pound."

As the debate rages on regarding who truly deserves the distinction of the world's top fighter, Islam Makhachev continues to train, prepare, and eagerly anticipate the opportunity to prove his worth in multiple weight classes.

One thing is for certain: Makhachev's confidence and unwavering belief in his abilities are the hallmarks of a fighter who will stop at nothing to cement his legacy as the pound-for-pound king.


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