Khabib Nurmagomedov left the UFC world after storming through the best fighters in it. Nurmagomedov
had an undefeated 27-0 record, but just as UFC fighters were feeling relieved, Islam Makhachev showed
up as a successor to Khabib. Islam Makhachev is being touted to become the next UFC champion hailing
from Dagestan, Russia. Makhachev's talent is undeniable, and with Nurmagomedov now out of the way,
his ascent to the lightweight throne will kick into a new gear.
Islam Makhachev has a stellar record in MMA and has lost just one fight in his entire career. He honed
his skills under the tutelage of Khabib's late father Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov and is currently hailed
as one of the best grapplers in UFC. Abdulmanap always believed that Makhachev would be the
successor to Khabib's throne.
According to Abdulmanap, Islam Makhachev's hunger surpassed that of Khabib's and he would one day
replace Khabib as the lightweight champion.
"I think Islam can beat anyone. He's younger, hungrier, and he should take Khabib's place. That way I
solidify my coaching abilities. So Khabib retires and another champion emerges who's also my student."
In today’s video we go over why Islam is a word class lightweight fighter, and why are many great UFC
fighters think he’s a future champion, but before we jump into the video do not forget to subscribe, like
and comment “ I subscribed” and I will give you a personal reply.
It's not just Abdulmanap, there are several other stalwarts in the world of MMA who believe in the
abilities of Islam Makhachev.
“I believe this man is gonna be the ufc champion. He is fantastic in every area of mixed martial arts.
From day 1 in AKA he could strike with anyone, wrestle anyone and grapple ANY1. I am so excited to call
another one of his fights this weekend. Let’s go champ!”
That was a tweet by Former two-division champion Daniel Cormier who has been a vocal supporter of
Islam Makhachev for a long time now. Cormier refers to his AKA teammate as 'champion' and has stated
that Islam is set to become the lightweight champ on numerous occasions in the past.
"You're now the champion of the world. You're the next champ. You're the best. You've always been the
best," said Cormier to Makhachev.
Cormier even stated that the top-ranked UFC lightweights are intentionally avoiding Makhachev
because they know he's going to 'smash all of them'. DC compared Islam Makhachev to the undisputed
welterweight champion Kamaru Usman .
"Nobody will fight him. Islam [Makhachev] is just gonna smash 'em all. He'll beat 'em all. I know for a
fact, [the fight] was offered to [Paul] Felder, it was offered to RDA, it was offered to a number of guys in
that top 10, and these guys won't fight him. I don't know what more he can do but just to compete,
make money, and keep working his way toward the championship. It's very reminiscent of when Kamaru
Usman was coming up"
Another believer in Islam is AKA head coach Javier Mendez who believes Islam Makhachev is an evolved
version of Khabib Nurmagomedov and will rule the 155-pound division in the years to come. In
an interview with Niall McGrath, Javier Mendez claimed that Makhachev's game is better rounded than
"His (Islam Makhachev's) overall game is slightly better than Khabib's - the stand-up, the kicking, and the
ground. Remember, Islam is a two-time Sambo champion, and not just recently, too. He's accomplished
what Khabib has accomplished. Islam has adapted to the striking quicker than Khabib, being that Khabib
will only train striking when he's with me. And Khabib didn't even like to kick very much" Javier Mendez
has coached UFC legends like Cain Velasquez, Daniel Cormier and Khabib Nurmagomedov over the
years. If he's investing so much faith in Islam Makhachev, there must be some substance behind the
Of course a massive supporter of Islam is his close friend and teammate, the eagle Khabib
Former UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov spoke out at a presser for Eagle FC and
answered a question about a potential comeback. Nurmagomedov officially retired from MMA in
October 2020 after defeating Justin Gaethje at UFC 254 in Abu Dhabi.
Despite that, fans and media members often cajole ‘The Eagle’ to reveal a likely scenario under which he
could return. Nurmagomedov was once again asked about a possible comeback to MMA in the event
that Islam Makhachev failed in his bid to become UFC champion.
Chiefly, Nurmagomedov backed Makhachev and said that he would stand by his teammate no matter
“Well, it looks like I have already let everybody know what’s up. Did you watch my last fight? That was
firsthand, wasn’t it? I don’t think, anything will change. Islam Makhachev has his own way, I have mine.
If Islam fails, he is capable of taking care of himself. But we will be next to him- to help and never let him
“As for myself, I don’t have any desire to come back. And I don’t think I ever will. Thank you. I hope
you’ve heard me.”
Khabib Nurmagomedov has always maintained that Islam Makhachev is one of the very best fighters in
the lightweight division. According to Khabib, his friend and teammate has the potential to become the
new king of the lightweight division.
After Makhachev's unanimous decision over Davi Ramos at UFC 242 in 2019, Nurmagomedov left his
title beside Makhachev and called him a 'Future champion'.
In an interview with ESPN, Nurmagomedov said that by the end of 2021, Islam Makhachev will be the
biggest name in the lightweight division, ahead of the likes of Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier.
"Now, everybody talks about Dustin, Conor, Chandler, Justin, Oliveira. But by the end of the year, it's
gonna be changed. I don't think anyone can beat [Makhachev] right now. He will run [the division]."
There is no question about it – Islam is a very skilled and a well-rounded fighter. Makhachev’s wrestling
and grappling is second to none in the lightweight division. Islam has great takedowns and trips which
would be a huge problem for any top contender. Khabib was able to take down McGregor, Poirier, and
Gaethje and Makhachev is capable of executing a similar game plan as “The Eagle” did. Once on the
ground, Islam is very good at controlling his opponents. In his last fight, Makhachev controlled Drew
Dober for 9:26 minutes or 80% of the time.
He has a lot of tools in his arsenal including vicious ground and pound or a threat of submissions. In his
pro MMA career, Makhachev has finishes via rear-naked choke, armbar, triangle choke, inverted
triangle, and arm-triangle choke. Now that Khabib is out of the picture, Islam Makhachev is arguably the
best overall wrestler/grappler in the UFC’s lightweight division.
Speaking of Makhachev’s stand up, it is comparable to Khabib’s striking. Islam is more technical than
Khabib when it comes to stand up striking and boxing. In general, all Dagestani fighters including Islam
Makhachev significantly improved their striking in most recent years.
An area where Makhachev possibly lags behind Nurmagomedov is his ability to take a shot. “The Eagle”
proved over and over again that he has a very solid chin. Khabib has eaten big shots from some of the
best lightweight strikers in the likes of Michael Johnson, Conor McGregor, and Justin Gaethje and he was
never seriously hurt or knocked down.
Islam Makhachev was already knocked out once in the UFC by Adriano Martins at UFC 192 in his second
UFC appearance and this fact really questions his chin. Adriano Martins is not the most powerful
puncher in the division and he was able to knock out Makhachev with one shot. What happens if
Makhachev gets caught once again when he faces one the best 155 lbs strikers?
We really don’t know how good or how bad Islam Makhachev’s chin is because he doesn’t get hit that
much. In his 9 UFC fights, Islam’s opponents landed a total of only 67 significant strikes. According
to UFC stats, Makhachev absorbs 0.77 significant strikes per minute which is a ridiculously low number.
A big question is can Makhachev take a shot from killers like Justin Gaethje or Conor McGregor like
Khabib did? I guess, we will find out an answer to this question soon enough.
That’s it for today’s video, do you agree that Islam Makhachev is a champion material or not? Let us
know in the comments, and don't forget to watch any of the video's you see in screen now, we think you
will like that one too.