‘He Can Finish Dustin Poirier, Maul Oliveira’- Khabib Nurmagomedov Makes Huge Claims About Islam Makhachev

Published 07/15/2021, 12:19 AM EDT


Former UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov sat down with Brett Okamoto and spoke about his teammate Islam Makhachev. Makhachev takes on Thiago Moises in the main event for UFC Fight Night on July 17 and aims to reach closer to title contention. He has had a tough road to break into the rankings with injuries threatening to derail his career.

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Khabib Nurmagomedov has been in Makhachev’s camp helping him train in the capacity of a head coach ever since he retired. Islam Makhachev ran through Drew Dober like a freight train in his last fight and Khabib Nurmagomedov is high on Makhachev. ‘The Eagle’ spoke on the potential of his pupil and former training partner who is on the verge of breaking out.

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“When you’re 30 years, I think you’re mentally and physically prime become on same level. 30, 31, 32, this is perfect age and right now Islam on this age. He have very good win streak like mentally, physically, he is like boxing, kicking, he is grappling. I think he is a little bit like step ahead from all these guys like.’

‘I truly believe he can finish Dustin Poirier, maybe Dustin gonna be upset but I truly believe he can finish Dustin Poirier. He can maul Oliveira. I don’t think Charles can play with him like this all jiu-jitsu guard. We just need time and no accident. Like completely MMA fighter, I believe Islam can beat all of these guys.”

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Islam Makhachev: Championship caliber prospect

Makhachev has been touted as Khabib Nurmagomedov’s successor long before ‘The Eagle’ retired from MMA. However, Islam Makhachev hasn’t yet secured the opportunity to make a big splash because of inactivity.

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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)

He’s still a couple of fights away from facing a lightweight ranked inside the top 5 of the division. However, Khabib Nurmagomedov isn’t the only one who sees big things in the pipeline for Makhachev.

All of Makhachev’s teammates and coaches have earmarked him for great success in the next few years. The general understanding is that an undisputed world title is his for the taking when the time is right. He has a good litmus test in front of him in the form of Moises who is a hungry up-and-comer in his own right.

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Darryl Pinto

1774 articles

Darryl Pinto is a senior MMA writer at EssentiallySports. He is currently pursuing his graduate degree in Mass Media (with a specialization in Journalism) out of Xavier’s College and has a year's experience in his current role. Darryl specializes in predictions, reporting, and covering UFC events live.

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