‘He Doesn’t Have Much Gas’- Rafael dos Anjos Details Big Differences Between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Islam Makhachev

Published 08/14/2021, 1:15 AM EDT


Rafael dos Anjos takes on Islam Makhachev at UFC 267 on Fight Island in Abu Dhabi. Makhachev is currently on an eight-fight win streak and will hope that a win against dos Anjos will secure a title shot for him. It will be easier said than done considering ‘RDA’ is one of the very best fighters at lightweight. 

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Ahead of his fight against Makhachev, ‘RDA’ shared his thoughts on the hype surrounding his next opponent in an interview with Combate. He said, “I think they are totally different fighters. I think his camp is betting the chips that he will be the new champion. Islam is a talented guy, but I think Khabib is different. This I say listening to people who trained with the two of them, know both of them, and trained with me too.”

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The former champion continued, “What I was told is that Islam is more technical than Khabib, (he) it has more technique, but (he) it doesn’t have much gas. He keeps saving himself and gives that blow, gets in the position he wants, and keeps holding on. Khabib, on the other hand, achieves more, has more desire, and more gas. Just looking at it, I can already see it. Khabib is a guy who gives more rhythm to the fight, pulls more, doesn’t tie so much. It’s a guy who plays forward. Islam is more technical but plays not to expose (himself) itself too much.” (translated using Google translate)

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Will Rafael dos Anjos prove to be too much for Islam Makhachev?

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Makhachev will hope to follow in the footsteps of Khabib Nurmagomedov, who secured a lopsided decision win over ‘RDA’ in 2014. Both men, who were trained under the able guidance of Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov, have a firm base in combat sambo. However, Makhachev is a much better striker, and he has shown that time and time again. 

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In a recent interview, Makhachev’s coach, Javier Mendez, stated that UFC fans would see a lot more of Islam’s striking in his next fight.

Hence, it will be interesting to see what approach Makhachev and his team take. Standing and striking with ‘RDA’ might not necessarily be the easiest route to victory for Makhachev, who is nowhere as good as ‘RDA’ is in the striking department.

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Kevin Binoy

1184 articles

Kevin Binoy is an MMA author at EssentiallySports. He earned a Bachelor's degree from Fergusson College and has been covering sports professionally for over two years. Besides working with the MMA writing team, Kevin is a core member of the organization's web stories team and is responsible for delivering engaging MMA web stories.

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