After being passed over for the No. 1 spot in pound-for-pound rankings following his most recent victory, UFC champion Islam Makhachev expressed his outrage.
Last weekend’s main event of UFC 284 featured lightweight champion Makhachev, 31, defending his title against featherweight champion Volkanovski. Before the fight, Volkanovski topped the UFC’s pound-for-pound rankings. Despite losing to Makhachev, who is ranked No. 2, the Australian has maintained that position.
Fans have complained about the most recent rankings, but Makhachev isn’t surprised that he didn’t get the top spot. “About the rankings, I never expected justice and I still don’t because we saw this in examples of our other fighters. [Magomed] Ankalaev, Petr Yan, saw the attitude towards us always. The main thing is I flew 13,000 kilometres, defeated their champion, they raised my hand and I flew home confidently with a belt,” Makhachev told Igor Lazorin.
Makhachev ended Volkanovski’s 22-fight unbeaten streak, which dated back to almost ten years ago, and became the first man to defeat him in the UFC. Both fighters have since demanded a rematch, but before facing Makhachev once more, Volkanovski will probably need to defend his featherweight title.
When asked if his rankings snub if because of an agenda against Russian fighters, Makhachev added: “Maybe. I don’t play their games. I can’t say otherwise because if they keep (ratings) I don’t know if ratings have changed completely or not. But if it stays like that, how can I count differently? I don’t know.”
The featherweight champion’s teammate Dan Hooker questioned Makhachev’s victory over Volkanovski. He claimed that Makhachev had illegally used an IV to rehydrate after the weigh-in. The manager of Makhachev later refuted the claim that his fighter had committed fraud.