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Islam Makhachev Explains Ramadan Dilemma and Missed UFC 300 Opportunity

Islam declined a title fight against Edwards at UFC 300
Leon Edwards (left), Islam Makhachev (right)

Islam Makhachev, the reigning UFC lightweight champion, recently revealed the reason behind his decision to decline a champion vs. champion bout against Leon Edwards at UFC 300, citing the challenges posed by Ramadan as a crucial factor.

The highly anticipated matchup between Makhachev and Edwards, which many fans had hoped to see at UFC 300, was unfortunately not meant to be due to the timing of Ramadan, a significant Muslim holiday involving fasting during daylight hours.

In a statement to MMA Junkie, Makhachev explained, 

"One month with fasting, and it’s not possible to do training in Ramadan. It’s very hard. You have to fast when the sun rises, and all day you have to fast. … Training this time is very hard."

Ramadan, a period of spiritual reflection and fasting, falls between March 10 and April 9 this year, overlapping with the timeline leading up to UFC 300 on April 13. This conflict made it logistically impossible for Makhachev to adequately prepare for a title fight of such magnitude.

Despite his disappointment at missing out on the opportunity, Makhachev remains focused on his upcoming return to action, slated for June, where he hopes to face former interim champion Dustin Poirier. While acknowledging that Poirier may not be the most deserving contender at the moment, Makhachev sees the potential matchup as an exciting challenge given the current landscape of the lightweight division.

Looking ahead, Makhachev expressed his aspirations for a second title in the future, provided both he and Edwards continue their winning streaks. This prospect hints at the possibility of a champion vs. champion clash later in the year, a scenario that Makhachev eagerly awaits.

Despite the setback of missing UFC 300, Makhachev's commitment to his faith and dedication to his MMA career remains unwavering, showcasing his resilience and determination to overcome challenges both inside and outside the octagon.


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