Khabib Nurmagomedov Reveals What’s Next for Islam Makhachev After the Submission Win Over Thiago Moises

Published 07/18/2021, 2:43 AM EDT


Islam Makhachev earned a dominant win over Thiago Moises in the main event of UFC Fight Night: Makhachev vs Moises. The Dagestani fighter finished Moises in the fourth round via submission. This was his second submission win of the year, having already defeated Drew Dober at UFC 259 via the same.

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Makhachev is expected to fight one more time this year. And his teammate and former UFC lightweight champion, Khabib Nurmagomedov, has laid out a game plan for him. Nurmagomedov wants Makhachev to fight one more time this year and go 3-0 in 2021. ‘The Eagle’ believes that with another win, the rising star of the 155lbs division can compete for the ‘Fighter of The Year’ award.

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Khabib Nurmagomedov tells me the plan is for Islam Makhachev to get one more fight near the end of the year, get a finish, and be named Fighter of the Year. He’s 2-0 with two finishes so far. He’d have to beat out some tough competition. Usman, Moreno, Ngannou are tops, I’d say,” wrote ESPN’s Brett Okamoto on Twitter.

Kamaru Usman has already won 2 fights this year, with both victories coming via knockout. The welterweight kingpin is expected to defend his belt one more time, at least, in 2021. Given his form and the quality of opposition, he is certainly the front-runner for the award.

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)

Flyweight champion Brandon Moreno and heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou both earned spectacular wins this year to become champions of their respective divisions. So, needless to say, Makhachev has stiff competition for the prize.

Is Islam Makhachev a future lightweight champion?

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When Nurmagomedov retired from the UFC, he tipped Makhachev to be a future champion of the division and carry on his legacy. It seems like Makhachev is certainly on the right track.

As his performances have been nothing short of phenomenal lately, he is certainly a contender to look out for in the 155 lbs division. It seems like he is a problem. Now, it remains to be seen whether he can capture the lightweight crown in the near future.

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Apratim Banerjee

999 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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