‘You’re a Little Bit Late’- Khabib Nurmagomedov Believes Islam Makhachev Has Delayed His Father’s Plans

Published 07/16/2021, 2:43 PM EDT
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – MARCH 06: Khabib Nurmagomedov interacts with media during the UFC 249 press conference at T-Mobile Arena on March 06, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)


Fight fans are ready for yet another exciting UFC Fight Night card that will be headlined by Islam Makhachev and Thiago Moises on July 17th. A lot of eyes are locked on Islam Makhachev as people have high expectations from the rising lightweight.

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After the former champion Khabib Nurmagomedov’s retirement, fans were hoping for Makhachev to fill in the shoes of the fellow Dagestani fighter.

This was originally planned by the late Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov, father of Khabib Nurmagomedov. But the UFC rankings system didn’t qualify Makhachev to fight for the title as he was not ranked in the Top-5.

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Now the Dagestani holds the #9 spot and a win over Moises could place him in the Top-5. In a recent interview, Khabib Nurmagomedov poked his friend Islam Makhachev for delaying the plan. ‘The Eagle’ said, “I told Islam, you’re a little bit late, brother. You’re only top ten, top nine.”

Khabib Nurmagomedov continues, “By this time he’s supposed to be in the top three, but this guy is late. But this Saturday, he has to prove himself and show the world who is Islam Makhachev. He told me I remember when you gonna finish Islam come and it has to be on the same time.”

How long will Islam Makhachev take to become the lightweight champion?

Islam Makhachev is in on a 7-fight winning streak and a win against Thiago Moises will surely help him swamp up the rankings.

This will directly put him in the mix to challenge a top-ranked opponent for his next bout. A couple of wins over the Top-5 lightweights will prove his worth as a worthy title contender.

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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)

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Makhachev needs to beat household names like Justin Gaethje or Dustin Poirier. This will place him in a situation to make a legitimate claim for the title. If everything went as planned, fans could see Makhachev in a title bout mid-year in 2022.

Will Islam Makhachev become the next Dagestani UFC champion?

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Saurabh Singh

215 articles

Saurabh Singh Laledia is an MMA enthusiast who works as a UFC writer for EssentiallySports. His passion for the UFC infused with his knowledge of various fight styles such as Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu motivated him to pursue a career in combat sports journalism, as it would be where he could exhibit his expert views and unbiased opinions whilst keeping the fan’s perspective alive. He started watching the sport at UFC 53 in 2005 when ‘The Ace’ Rich Franklin beat Evan Turner to claim the belt and has traced the journey of the middleweight title right from 'The Spider' to 'The Last Stylebender'.

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