Islam Makhachev celebrates his first round knockout against Gleison Tibau in their Lightweight fight during UFC 220

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.

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.

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