Islam Makhachev will finally make his much-anticipated return to the Octagon against top-contender Drew Dober in the main-card of UFC 259: Israel Adesanya vs Jan Blachowicz on March 6 at UFC Fight Island.
Islam Makhachev hasn’t stepped inside the UFC Octagon since UFC 241 where he took on Davi Ramos and won the fight via unanimous decision. Makhachev was scheduled to take on former lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos at one point. However, the bout fell apart after Makahchev pulled out of the fight.
“Now, everybody talks about Dustin, Conor, Chandler, Justin, Oliveira,” Nurmagomedov told ESPN. “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].”
Khabib Nurmagomedov said about Islam Makhachev ahead of his return to the Octagon. While good words from Khabib Nurmagomedov for his close friend Islam is not surprising, the former dual champion Daniel Cormier carries the same praise for the Dagestani fighter.
“You knew as long as Khabib was the champion, Islam was going to take a slower approach to moving up the rankings,” Cormier said. “But now, Khabib and I talked about it, everybody believes that Islam can be the man. Now, with Khabib [retired], I believe now [Islam] starts to make his ascent.” Cormier said about Islam Makhachev ahead of UFC 259.
However, the real question is, how good is Islam Makhachev? The Dagestani fighter has only tasted loss once inside the Octagon. He is currently enjoying a six-fight win-streak in the UFC’s lightweight division.
How good is Islam Makhachev?
Islam Makhachev holds the record for absorbing the least number of significant strikes in the history of UFC’s lightweight division. The Sambo champion has time and again proved his grappling pedigree inside the Octagon. Many believe, including Daniel Cormier that Islam Makhachev beats Khabib Nurmagomedov in pure wrestling.
Interestingly enough, coming from a former Olympian, it goes on to prove how good Islam Makhachev is on the ground. Needless to say, beyond a reason of belief, Khabib Nurmagomedov has established himself as arguably one of the greatest mixed martial artists of all time. Party in due to his abilities on the ground and his rock-solid chin and a lethal jab that compliments his fighting style.
If there’s a fighter who fighters like Khabib Nurmagomedov and Daniel Cormier believe can take the division by storm rge as a champion, it’s Islam Makhachev.