“He Is in the UFC Pound-For-Pound Top 3” – Khabib Nurmagomedov Names a Suprise Fighter

Published 12/27/2021, 11:15 AM EST
MOSCOW, RUSSIA AUGUST 18, 2021: Russian mixed martial artist and UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov gives a news conference. Anton Novoderezhkin/TASS (Photo by Anton NovoderezhkinTASS via Getty Images)


Islam Makhachev is one of the best lightweights in the world right now. The Russian fighter is currently ranked 4 in the rankings and is on a nine-fight win streak. He fought three times in 2021 and won all three fights via submission. According to many, Khabib Nurmagomedov’s teammate and training partner is the next big thing in the division and is a definite future champion.

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In his last fight, he took on Dan Hooker. The Dagestan native made light work of Hooker and submitted him in the first round at UFC 267. Since the win, many people called for him to fight for the title next, but that didn’t materialize.

Makhachev will next face Beneil Dariush, in what is guaranteed to be the number one contender fight. However, despite not being a champion, former UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov thinks Makhachev is a top 3 fighter in the UFC.

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Recently, regarding the year his teammate had, Nurmagomedov said, “2021 was definitely the best year of Islam’s career. In my opinion, he is in the UFC pound-for-pound top 3. We will take 2022 even more confidently.”

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With the kind of performances he has put in, it is hard to argue that he’s one of the best in the world right now. However, not many agree with Nurmagomedov branding him as a top 3 pound-for-pound fighter.

Islam Makhachev vs. Beneil Dariush

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The Russian fighter will next be in action at UFC Fight Night 203. He will go up against the number 3 ranked lightweight, Beneil Dariush, in what is guaranteed to be a great fight. Dariush is definitely going to be the toughest test of Makhachev’s career. He is a Jiu-Jitsu specialist and can hold his own on the feet and is very capable on the mat as well. His last win was against one of the greatest lightweights of all time, Tony Ferguson.

Dariush and Makhachev both are on an impressive win streak and the fight will the biggest of both of their careers. Justin Gaethje is said to be the next challenger for the title, and these two are next in line. The winner of this exciting fight will get the title shot next, therefore, both fighters will look to put in a convincing performance.

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Makhachev has Khabib Nurmagomedov, one of the greatest mixed martial artists in his corner. And he would look to keep the winning run going. Do you think Makhachev is among the top 3 pound-for-pound fighter in the UFC? Who do you think wins between Makhachev and Dariush? Let us know in the comments!

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Arunaditya Aima

488 articles

Arunaditya is a UFC writer at EssentiallySports. Having completed his Post Graduate Diploma in Multimedia Journalism from IIJNM, Arunaditya aspires to be an important voice in the world of MMA and interview the likes of Jon Jones, Conor McGregor, Amanda Nunes, and other such superstars of the sport. He has followed the sport for over a decade and is an ardent fan of Georges St-Pierre, who he believes is the greatest of all time.

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