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Islam Makhachev reacts to Dana White saying Jon Jones is No. 1 pound-for-pound in UFC

NEWARK, N.J. – Many were blown away with that they saw from Islam Makhachev on Saturday, solidifying his standing for many as the No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter on the planet or getting him in that spot for others who didn’t have him there already.

However, that wasn’t the case for everyone. UFC CEO Dana White sparked a big reaction online when he argued that UFC heavyweight champion Jon Jones is the No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter. These comments came after Makhachev’s third title defense of his UFC lightweight belt, which came in the form of a thrilling submission win over Dustin Poirier (30-8 MMA, 22-7 UFC) in the main event of UFC 302.

Makhachev (25-1 MMA, 14-1 UFC) was asked at the UFC 302 post-fight press conference what he thought about White’s claims.

“I don’t know – maybe it’s his opinion,” Makhachev said. “I think I saved this card today because all these fights were boring and all arena almost sleep. We showed with Dustin a great performance. Dana gave me two bonuses. Before when I remember I had the first contract I would get very happy when I have bonus, but now it’s OK.”

In the last three years, Makhachev has picked up seven consecutive wins, defeating respected talent in Poirier, Charles Oliveira, Alexander Volkanovksi (twice) and others. He has six finishes in that seven-fight run. Meanwhile, Jones has only fought once, submitting Ciryl Gane to claim the vacant UFC heavyweight title in 2023.

As far as Makhachev’s showing, he was happy with what he was able to display at UFC 302, but said he thinks there’s plenty of room for growth.

“I think Dustin prepared for this fight very well,” Makhachev said. “He said this was his last chance, and I think they did a great job. He improved his wrestling defense.

“I think my mistake in this fight is that I have to believe in my striking more because I show my striking today. I landed a lot of good punches and the first punches, I almost knocked him down. If I believe more, I think I can knock him out. But it’s OK. I’m happy to finish him on the ground.”

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 302.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie