Islam Makhachev vs Khabib Nurmagomedov: Comparison by Stats of Two of the Most Ruthless UFC Lightweights

Published 07/14/2021, 12:30 AM EDT


Islam Makhachev is on the rise at the UFC’s lightweight division. The Dagestani star is often compared with his teammate and former UFC lightweight champion, Khabib Nurmagomedov. ‘The Eagle’ and Makhachev both share a dominant grappling game. Many have tipped Makhachev to follow Nurmagomedov’s footsteps and eventually become a UFC champion.

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A recent Twitter post by the ‘MMA By The Numbers’ handle has compared Nurmagomedov and Makhachev by stats after their first 9 UFC fights. It is a truly insightful post for the UFC fanatics. While Nurmagomedov has fought 13 times in the UFC during his perfect professional career, Makhachev has made 9 appearances inside the Octagon so far.

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Makhachev, who has 4 finishes in his 8-1 UFC record, suffered a knockout loss in his second UFC appearance. This is the only loss of his professional career so far. Other than that rare incident, his dominance has been prominent so far in his UFC career. He most recently earned a spectacular submission win over Drew Dober at UFC 259. The Dagestani has landed 173 significant strikes, absorbing 67 in the process. He has 69% takedown accuracy and 53% control.

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Nurmagomedov, on the other hand, also had 4 finishes in his first 9 Octagon appearances. He landed 364 significant strikes, absorbing 143. He had a 48% takedown accuracy and 54% control.

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)

Needless to say, both have been dominant in their own way. Given the numbers, Makhachev is well on track as he compares very well with the retired Nurmagomedov.

Who is Islam Makhachev fighting next?

Makhachev will take on Brazilian Thiago Moises in the main event of a UFC Fight Night clash this weekend. This will be Makhachev’s first opportunity to headline a UFC card. He will have a worthy opponent in Moises who is looking to make a name for himself too. A win for either man will catapult them higher in the 155 lbs division of the UFC.

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Read this story: 5 Interesting Facts You Need to Know About Jairizinho Rozenstruik

CALGARY, AB – JULY 28: Islam Makhachev of Russia celebrates after his submission victory over Kajan Johnson of Canada in their lightweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at Scotiabank Saddledome on July 28, 2018 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Makhachev is under the guidance of Nurmagomedov as well. ‘The Eagle‘ keeps a close eye on his teammate and wants to mentor him to the UFC title in the near future.

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Hence, Makhachev could actually be on track to eclipse Khabib Nurmagomedov after 13 UFC fights.

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Apratim Banerjee

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Apratim Banerjee is an MMA author for EssentiallySports and has been writing professionally for almost a year. Before his current gig, Apratim worked as a UFC writer for Sportskeeda. A long-time MMA fan, Apratim has developed a critical eye for the sport that has helped him transfer his vast knowledge to his copies and give hardcore and casual readers a detailed insight into the fights and fighters.

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