Ray Longo has claimed that the UFC are showing what he described as “favoritism” toward lightweight champion, Islam Makhachev – when compared with the quickfire turnaround they are currently targeting for bantamweight counterpart, Aljamain Sterling.
Most recently headlining UFC 284 back in February of this year, Islam Makhachev successfully defended his lightweight title from the siege of featherweight titleholder, Alexander Volkanovski, landing a unanimous decision victory in their Perth, Australia outing.
Expected to make a return atop a UFC 294 pay-per-view card in Abu Dhabi, UAE in October, Islam Makhachev revealed in the weeks following his win over Volkanovski, how UFC brass had encouraged him to take some time off and prepare to compete toward the end of the year on the October card in the Middle East.
However, as for Sterling, the Uniondale native has once more engaged in a war of words of sorts with UFC leader, Dana White, pointing to the timely comeback they expect from him – with a UFC 292 title fight against Sean O’Malley announced officially, just weeks after he defeated Henry Cejudo this month at UFC 288.
UFC accused of showing “favoritism” toward lightweight champion, Islam Makhachev
As far as Longo is concerned, the long-time head coach would like to see some consistency from the UFC when it comes to them booking certain champions on their schedule, claiming there appears to be some form of “favoritism” at play for Islam Makhachev.
“To me, in business and even down here, you know what people like, consistency,” Ray Longo said on The Anik and Florian Podcast. “Like if I come in here, everybody pays $200 a month, and then they’re walking around the gym, and someone says no, he only charges me $75. That’s not good, you know what I mean? It’s got to be consistent. That’s why I said we’re giving examples where it seems like favoritism almost, you know.”
“I think it’s the inconsistency of well [Islam] Makhachev hasn’t fought in a year (sic), why are you forcing me to fight in two months like that’s where I have a problem,” Longo explained. “I like fairness, and I like the transparency of knowing everybody’s doing the same thing. Like if Dana (White) wanted to turn everybody around every two months, then that’s it, that’s what you signed up for. This is their rules. It’s their company. He built it up. He gets to call the shots, but to do one thing one time and not the other time, I think that’s where it gets a little sticky for me.” (Transcribed by MMA News)