Ahead of UFC Vegas 31 where Islam Makhachev takes on Thiago Moises in the first main event of his UFC career, close friend and training partner Khabib Nurmagomedov has shared his thoughts on the fellow Dagestani fighter. Nurmagomedov, who has repeatedly called Islam Makhachev the next UFC lightweight champion.
In conversation with ESPN’s Brett Okamoto, the former lightweight champion shared his thoughts on Islam Makhachev and claimed that the Dagestani fighter has what it takes to beat both Dustin Poirier and Charles Oliveira. Nurmagomedov stated that Makhachev is levels above fellow lightweights.
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Islam Makhachev is currently riding on a seven-fight win-streak and will look to make it eight as he takes on BJJ ace Thiago Moises in the main event of UFC Vegas 31. The lightweight contender is time and again proved his credibility inside the Octagon, having raked up wins over Drew Dober and Davi Ramos.
Islam Makhachev is often compared to Khabib Nurmagomedov for his grappling ability and his ability to dictate the pace of the fight. Makhachev has shown his dominant display of grappling on several occasions and relies heavily on his combat sambo background to dominate his opponents.
Can Islam Makhachev beat Dustin Poirier?
Islam Makhachev comes inside the Octagon with a similar skillset as Khabib Nurmagomedov. Even the Dagestani fighter has stated on numerous occasions in the past, with Daniel Cormier strengthening Khabib’s opinion that Makhachev can become the future UFC lightweight champion.
Needless to say, Dustin Poirier is a striker first and while he does have a wrestling background, the former interim lightweight champion relies heavily on his striking prowess to dominate his opponents. While Nurmagomedov has shown the world how Poirier can be defeated, it’s tough to say that Makhachve will be able to do just that.
Additionally, the fight game has gotten a lot better with fighters training themselves for all kinds of stylistic match-ups. While only time will tell what lies ahead for Islam Makhachev, it’s safe to say that looking at his recent performances inside the Octagon, the future looks bright for the Dagestani fighter.