Islam Makhachev is ready to face Kevin Lee—but only on his own terms.
Lee recently told ESPN that he was interested in facing Makhachev and even proposed a date and location at UFC Moscow which takes place November 9.
“I hear they’re going to Moscow and I hear Islam might want a fight,” Lee said (via MMA Fighting). “Me and Islam on a co-main in Moscow sounds good to me.
“People see him as the next Khabib. He’s coming up. I’ve kind of always had my eye on him. MMA is a very small circle. We know a lot of the same people. I hear rumblings Islam can fight. I’m like, ‘Oh, he can fight? OK. We’ll see.’ Khabib would probably be in his corner. I’ll be training with Georges [St-Pierre]. There’s talks of trying to make Khabib and Georges happen. There are a lot of little storylines there. Lot of motivation in a fight like that.”
However, Makhachev—who recently outpointed Davi Ramos last weekend at UFC 242—feels having called out Lee for a while, the “Motown Phenom” is no longer in a position to call the shots.
@MoTownPhenom you ain’t in position to call date and location. I was calling you out 2years in a row. Now you wait till January and I’ll give you a lesson boy
— Makhachev Islam (@MAKHACHEVMMA) September 14, 2019
Following his unanimous decision loss to Al Iaquinta in December, it seemed like Lee would face Makhachev next. Instead, he moved up to welterweight where he suffered a fourth-round submission defeat to Rafael dos Anjos back in May.
Now seemingly preferring a move back to 155 pounds, Lee might have his next opponent—provided he is willing to wait until January which is Makhachev’s preferred return date.