‘There Was Nobody Left for Us’- Rizvan Magomedov Reveals Why Islam Makhachev Couldn’t Find Any Fights

Published 06/01/2021, 12:42 PM EDT
MOSCOW, RUSSIA – NOVEMBER 8, 2019: MMA fighter Islam Makhachev ahead of a weigh-in prior to the UFC Fight Night 163 at the CSKA Arena. Valery Sharifulin/TASS (Photo by Valery SharifulinTASS via Getty Images)


UFC lightweight prospect Islam Makhachev is having trouble finding a fighter to fight him. The Russian is on a 7-fight winning streak, but those fights are spread across 5 years.

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He last fought in March 2021 and submitted Drew Dober in the third round to take his impressive record to 19-1. His manager, Rizvan Magomedov, talked about his time with the UFC in an interview with RT Sport and explained why Makhachev was not fighting as much as he would like to.

It’s not beneficial for them to fight Islam Makhachev,” he said. According to him, all the young fighters were matched up with each other.

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“Rafael dos Anjos turned it down, Dan Hooker turned it down, Paul Felder turned it down. So, there was nobody left for us,” Magomedov revealed. A reporter asked him if the UFC was interfering in any way to put Islam down because of his nationality.

However, Magomedov said no and said that the problem was not racial or even political. Makhachev and the former lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov had been training together since their early childhood. Even if the UFC promoted Islam, there was no title fight in store for him at the end of the day.

Watch this story: List Of UFC Fighters Who Are Married To Each Other.

Rizvan Magomedov revealed the UFC’s problem with Islam Makhachev when Khabib was the champion

Magomedov said that if he had to step into the shoes of a UFC promoter like Dana White or Sean Shelby, promoting Islam wouldn’t make sense.

If we promote Islam, he can beat all of our contenders but still won’t fight for the title at the end of the day. So, who will then, if he beat them all? That is the problem they used to have,” he concluded.

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BOSTON, MA – JANUARY 20: Islam Makhachev of Russia celebrates after his knockout victory over Gleison Tibau of Brazil in their lightweight bout during the UFC 220 event at TD Garden on January 20, 2018, in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Makhachev has resonated the same sentiments on multiple occasions. However, Khabib has retired now and left the door open for Islam. The fans would love to see the Russian succeed in the division after his struggles.

Do you think Islam Makhachev deserves a Top-5 opponent in his next fight?

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Aniket Awasthi

257 articles

Aniket Awasthi is a UFC author at EssentiallySports. This STEM undergraduate combines an insatiable urge to write with his admiration for MMA and the UFC in general to enhance his journalism. He calls charismatic names like Chael Sonnen and 'The Count' Michael Bisping as his favorite fighters, but he is a great admirer of the rise of Israel Adesanya ever since he fought Rob Wilkinson at UFC 221.

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