‘You Relaxed Too Much’- Khabib Nurmagomedov’s Reaction to Islam Makhachev Being Taken Down By Thiago Moises

Published 07/18/2021, 10:03 AM EDT

UFC Lightweight sensation Islam Makhachev successfully thwarted a dangerous-looking Thiago Moises in their headlining clash at UFC Vegas 31. The Dagestani mauler submitted Moises in the fourth round after applying the rear-naked choke.


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This was the first main event for Makhachev and also the first time he competed in any 5-round scheduled matchup. He thus extended his winning run to 8 consecutive victories and 9 overall victories in his 10 fight old career in UFC.


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Although his win was on the expected line, he did have some trouble during the match. In one of the rounds, Moises was able to shoot on his legs and took him down. The Brazilian fighter aimed for the double leg takedown and was successful. This was a pinch of salt for Makhachev to take in an otherwise dominant win.

During his post-fight interview, Makhachev explained how the takedown by Moises made him a bit upset. “Little bit I’m sad because he takes me down,” Makhachev said. “Because you know I don’t believe he takes me down, but I give him legs, you know. I give him my legs.”

Makhachev then detailed how Moises could take him down. “He catch me double leg and I tried to defense, but he closed you know, but it’s ok…I tried to give him but he escaped. He is good jiu-jitsu. That’s why I’m little bit (upset).”


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Makhachev then explained how his friends who are well versed in wrestling were a bit upset with him, including Khabib. “He told me, ‘you relaxed too much when he goes to the double leg.'”

What’s next for Islam Makhachev?

Makhachev (20-1) is striving to get into a big event fight against the top-ranked opponents. Irrespective of his current lightweight standing, he is a bonafide top 10 fighter if not in the top 5.

His performances couldn’t be overlooked for much longer and many in the UFC hierarchy know he is championship material.

So the big question. What’s next for Makhachev after this win?

A matchup with Tony Ferguson could do wonders for both the lightweight maestros. Ferguson is currently on the worst slide of his career with three consecutive losses. His dream matchup with Makhachev’s mentor, Khabib, never materialized beyond the paper.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – MARCH 06: (R-L) Islam Makhachev works for a submission against Drew Dober in their lightweight fight during the UFC 259 event at UFC APEX on March 06, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

A fight and subsequent win over Islam could put him right into the title frame mix. Also, Makhachev is long been compared to ‘The Eagle’ for their similar style of fighting. This matchup might re-ignite the flame that once used to happen when Ferguson and Khabib interacted.


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Meanwhile, Makhachev has loads of benefits to gain in this fight. A matchup with a genuine prizefighter could raise his stocks and a win would only make it an even strong case for him to be considered for a title fight in near future.

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Although it’s a mouthwatering prospect, the more visible option for Makhachev seems to be a fight with Rafael dos Anjos. Since most of the top fighters are (and probably will) neglecting Makhachev, a fight with RDA seems to be the only genuine high voltage clash for the former at this moment.


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It remains to be seen what UFC has in store for this talented fighter.


Akshyay Srichandan Mahapatra

409 articles

Akshyay Mahapatra is a UFC author for EssentiallySports. He wished to combine his passion for the UFC (that he has been following since 2008) as well as his love for writing. This motivated him to enter the world of combat sports journalism.



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