Jon Jones, US champion of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) responded to Russian mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter Islam Makhachev, who criticised promotion's ratings.
"Heavy is the head that wears the crown. Criticism comes with territory. I want to encourage the young fighters to beat some of my records instead of using their lips. Now thats gangsta,” Jones wrote in a message posted on social media.
Jones is the current UFC heavyweight champion. He tops the ranking of the promotion's best fighters regardless of weight categories (P4P). During his career, the fighter won 27 victories and suffered one loss. Another fight with his participation was declared invalid.
Islam Makhachev comes third place in the ranking. The Russian currently holds the promotion's lightweight championship belt that he won after defeating Brazil's Charles Oliveira at UFC 280 in Abu Dhabi in October 2022.
Irish MMA fighter Conor McGregor cracked down on Makhachev for his comments about the P4P list.
"This guy is a gombeen. This is what happens when cousins have sex and have a child together. This is the result," Conor McGregor tweeted.
Conor McGregor is a former UFC lightweight and featherweight champion. In total, the Irishman has had 28 fights, of which he won 22 and lost 6. In October 2018, McGregor met with Khabib Nurmagomedov of Russia and lost to him by painful hold.
Islam Makhachev expressed his attitude towards promotion rankings on October 18 during a press conference before the UFC 294 tournament.
"Last time I beat number one when I was second and should have taken his place. I have no idea who makes these rankings," Islam Makhachev said.
In the last few fights, Jones did not fight the opponents included in the list of best fighters of the promotion. Islam Makhachev also reproached the US athlete for refusing to accept the fight with compatriot Chael Sonnen in 2021 who then replaced Dan Henderson. Jones learned about the replacement of his rival eight days before the fight.
McGregor insulted Makhachev before
In August 2022, McGregor took to social media to mock Makhachev. The Irishman posted a picture showing a man's leg with a nipple on the shin.
"When your parents are cousins. The Makhachevs,” the Irishman captioned the post.
In March 2022, the Russian expressed confidence that McGregor would not be able to perform as before after a break in his career that began in July 2021.
"It will be hard for him to even get down to lightweight because he drinks all day long. Many will be ready to do away with him in this condition," Islam Makhachev then said.
McGregor has not performed at the UFC since the summer of 2021 when he suffered a broken leg and lost by technical knockout in a third fight against Dustin Poirier. The Irishman is probably trying to provoke Makhachev with a view for a possible fight in the future. Before the fight with Nurmagomedov in 2018, McGregor also insulted his rival and his family.
Makhachev is to defend his UFC lightweight title against Alexander Volkanovski of Australia. Their fight will headline UFC 294 in Abu Dhabi.
The Americans came to realise that they would have to either leave the region or weaken their presence there. It is Russia that is filling the vacuum now