‘It’s Not About Blaming UFC’- Khabib Nurmagomedov Reveals How He Changed Things With Islam Makhachev

Published 06/30/2021, 12:40 PM EDT


Former UFC lightweight champion, Khabib Nurmagomedov is currently retired from the sport of MMA. However, his teammate Islam Makhachev is coming up the ranks in the 155 lbs division of the UFC.

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‘The Eagle’ explained in a recent interview how Makhachev is facing the same issues he faced during his rise to the top. “Yes, it is. Last year when he was offered to fight Dober, he was promised- not just told- he was promised to be given a well-known fighter from the top 10 or top 15 after that fight.

“We agreed on these terms, Islam won and nothing happened after. However, it’s not about blaming UFC. It’s about fighters themselves,” said Nurmagomedov.

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They don’t want it. They don’t want to get out of their comfort zone. They sit in Top-10, fight with each other, and usually stay within this ranking.

“I had the same situation in 2016. Fighters who were better than me didn’t want to fight with me, and I didn’t want to fight with someone who was less prepared than me,” he added.

LONDON, ENGLAND – JUNE 12: Khabib Nurmagomedov speaks during a UFC 242 Press Conference at Hotel Cafe Royal on June 12, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC)

So, I told Islam, ‘Look you have to be proactive.’ Just ask UFC for any fighter they might give you. Accept the fight and finish it early. When the time comes you will fight for the belt,” the Dagestani said further.

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Can Islam Makhachev follow in the footsteps of Khabib Nurmagomedov?

Makhachev is surely a top prospect in the 155lbs division of the UFC. The Dagestani is well respected among fellow contenders. Also, he has the likes of Nurmagomedov in his side to guide him. Many believe Makhachev is a potential champion. It’s hard to argue with those views as well.

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 is yet to compete since his spectacular UFC 259 win against Drew Dober. He is set to fight Thiago Moises next in the main event of a UFC Fight Night card.

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Apratim Banerjee

1183 articles

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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