FACT CHECK: Did CNN Report On Donald Trump Challenging UFC Fighter Islam Makhachev To A Fight?

Hannah Hudnall | Fact Check Reporter

A post shared on Instagram purportedly shows a CNN article reporting that former President Donald Trump proclaimed he would beat Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) fighter Islam Makhachev “in the second round.”

Verdict: False

The image is digitally fabricated. There is no evidence CNN published such an article or that Trump has challenged anyone to a UFC match.

Fact Check:

Russian UFC fighter Islam Makhachev challenged Charles Oliveira to a fight in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates in May,, scheduled for October 2022, according to ESPN. Makhachev is seeking to win the vacant UFC lightweight title, claiming he “deserve[s] it” on the back of a 10-fight winning streak, the outlet reported.

The Instagram post, which garnered over 800 likes, allegedly shows an article from CNN titled, “Donald Trump says he would beat Islam Makhachev in the second round, ‘Believe me, folks.'” The article is attributed to CNN editor Chris Cillizza and published in CNN’s newsletter, “The Point with Chris Cillizza.”

“Islam Makhachev is on everyone’s mind,” the post’s caption claims in part. (RELATED: Did CNN Report On Johnny Depp And Kyle Rittenhouse Organizing A National Tour Together?)

There is no evidence CNN published such an article. The alleged article cannot be found on the outlet’s website or social media accounts. Additionally, no information on such an article could be found on the website for “The Point with Chris Cillizza” or Cillizza’s official  Twitter profile.

The post appears to have taken another article with the same picture, titled “Donald Trump just compared his crowds to MLK’s ‘I Have A Dream’ speech.” The article makes no mention of any bout between Trump and any UFC fighters.

Likewise, there is no evidence Trump made this challenge to Makhachev either. It was not announced on the news page of Trump’s official website nor does any announcement appear on Makhachev’s social media accounts. There are no news reports suggesting the two are planning a match together.

Check Your Fact has reached out to CNN for comment and will update this piece if a response is received.

Hannah Hudnall

Fact Check Reporter