Famed MMA coach, Firas Zahabi, spoke out and revealed his candid views on the UFC lightweight, Islam Makhachev. Tristar’s Head Coach is a commenter on all things MMA, and he’s in touch with the happenings of the sport. Chiefly, Makhachev’s true potential at 155-pounds is often discussed and Zahabi decided to weigh in.
Islam Makhachev comes in as one of the biggest championship prospects out of Russia who trains alongside Khabib Nurmagomedov. He’s looked extremely dominant throughout his UFC run and has managed to set up a meaningful career projection for himself. Moreover, there’s a lot to be fighting for when it comes to picking up the mantle of Khabib Nurmagomedov’s legacy.
Zahabi responded to a listener of his podcast and candidly shared his views on whether Islam Makhachev can serve as Khabib’s replacement in the UFC. Georges St-Pierre’s Head Coach certainly believes so and thrust lofty expectations onto Islam’s shoulders.
He said, “Yes, Islam Makhachev, in my opinion, he’s a lot better than people know. He hasn’t had that breakout fight where every fan knows who he is. The hardcore fan knows who he is, we know how good he is. It’s just that he hasn’t had that super media fight which I think he’ll have eventually and that could skyrocket his career and get him to a title shot which in my opinion he already deserves.”
The Eagles MMA standout hasn’t had the massive opportunity to scrap a big name in his career thus far. He was supposed to the main event against Rafael dos Anjos, however, an injury sidelined him. Now, he will face Drew Dober on the main card for UFC 259 and will receive a meaningful amount of exposure.
He hasn’t fought since September 2019, and he desperately needs to return to action and remind fans of his presence. Makhachev is riding a six-fight win streak and is inching his way towards the division’s upper echelon. The Dagestani lightweight will be looking for a clean sweep of Dober so he can mount a championship run in 2022.
What do you make of Zahabi’s assessment of the fight? Could he get that super media fight at UFC 259 where three titles will be on the line?
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