Javier Mendez ‘all for’ UFC champ Islam Makhachev facing Dustin Poirier next

Javier Mendez likes the idea of UFC lightweight champion Islam Makhachev fighting Dustin Poirier next.

Makhachev (25-1 MMA, 14-1 UFC) wants to return in June. With top lightweights Justin Gaethje, Charles Oliveira and Arman Tsarukyan tied up with fights at UFC 300 on April 13, Makhachev suggested Poirier – even though he doesn’t think he necessarily deserves it.

Poirier (30-8 MMA, 22-7 UFC) was knocked out by Gaethje at UFC 291 but rebounded with a finish of his own against Benoit Saint Denis earlier this month at UFC 299. Makhachev’s head coach, Mendez, thinks the timeline fits perfectly for Makhachev to face Poirier.

“Islam’s a true professional, and he wanted to fight at a time that he’s going to be ready to defend his title at the best ability that he can do,” Mendez told MMA Mania. “During Ramadan time, shortly thereafter, there’s no way. Not going to happen. If it’s Dustin, fantastic. If it’s Justin, fantastic.

“But from my perspective, because who’s available now, who would be available sooner: Dustin. I believe that’s the reason why this is going on. We don’t know what’s going to happen with Justin and the fight with Charles (vs. Tsarukyan). We don’t know. What if the winner gets injured, and now the fight’s delayed? Now Islam’s got to wait how much more time?”

Poirier is ready to face Makhachev in June. He also presents a fresh matchup for Makhachev, who’s already beaten both Oliveira and Tsarukyan.

“I’m all for Dustin because Dustin’s injury-free, he’s a great fighter, a great human being,” Mendez said. “He’s my pick also because of the circumstances fit perfect for Dustin and Islam. Perfect.”

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie