Khabib Nurmagomedov Hypes up Islam Makhachev- States He Will Be the Lightweight Champion by the End of 2021

Published 03/01/2021, 10:33 PM EST


Islam Makhachev is one of the many promising talents that train under Khabib Nurmagomedov and his team Eagles MMA. Makhachev has been in the UFC since 2015. However, one loss and multiple injuries since joining the UFC have meant that Makhachev has not been able to claim UFC gold. 

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Now that his teammate and mentor Khabib Nurmagomedov has decided to retire, Makhachev can pursue UFC gold relentlessly. His first steps towards the same start this weekend as he takes on Drew Dober at UFC 259. The fight will be a litmus test for Islam, as we will see if he lives up to all the hype he has been garnering from his camp. 

Read: WATCH: Israel Adesanya gifts his mother a brand new Porsche before UFC 259

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Khabib Nurmagomedov sets the bar high for Islam Makhachev 

While speaking to ESPN, ‘The Eagle’ spoke highly of Makhachev. He said, “Now, everybody talks about Dustin, Conor, Chandler, Justin, Oliveira, but by the end of the year, it’s gonna be changed. I don’t think anyone can beat [Makhachev] right now. He will run [the division].”

Since joining the UFC, Islam has had a record of seven wins and one loss. The one loss was against Adriano Martins when Makhachev was knocked out. 

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AKA head coach Javier Mendez does not believe that anyone can beat Islam outside of a lucky punch. He said, “People need to understand this guy is a machine. Outside of him getting caught with a good shot, I don’t see anybody taking this guy and outworking him in any area. Anything can happen with these little gloves … but I don’t see anybody outpointing him. I really don’t. And I’m not joking”

BOSTON, MA – JANUARY 20: Islam Makhachev of Russia celebrates after his knockout victory over Gleison Tibau of Brazil in their lightweight bout during the UFC 220 event at TD Garden on January 20, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

The Eagle’ has always spoken very highly of Islam and has reiterated that he would like to pass on the torch to Makhachev once he is done with fighting. Therefore, the main focus at AKA and Eagles MMA would now be to get Islam to the top of the throne at 155-pounds. 

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If he is able to get past Dober this weekend, it will not be long before a title shot awaits him. Also, if he is able to avoid injuries and fight multiple times this year, he could very well be a champion by the end of 2021, as Nurmagomedov has predicted. 

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Kevin Binoy

845 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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