Khabib Nurmagomedov and Islam Makhachev are childhood friends. Nurmagomedov reveals that Islam used to live next door to him and both the fighters have known each other for more than 20 years. Just like Khabib, even Islam Makhahcev has trained under Abubakar Nurmagomedov from his early years.
“Islam lived next door, and we used to meet at the training. We went to the same school, trained in the same gym. Since childhood, we have known each other, almost 20 years.”
Khabib Nurmagomedov is one of the most popular names in MMA today. No one has ever seen a champion in the 155lb division as dominant as him. The way he mauls people, his ability to win every round let alone every fight has made him a superstar. Nobody comes close to him. However, many believe that Islam Makhachev is right up there.
The quality of opposition he has faced during his career and the way he has dominated them has etched his name in the history of the sport in golden letters. Many believe that there can be no other Khabib. They are probably right. No one can do it like him unless it’s his own blood or has trained and lived with him since childhood.
Take, for example, the Eagle’s younger cousin Umar Nurmagomedov who recently debuted in UFC. His scintillating 2nd round submission victory quickly led to speculations if he could be the next Khabib. Well, this might be very true, there is another Nurmagomedov associate who is taking the MMA world by storm.
This person is none other than his childhood close friend and fellow 155 pounders Islam Makhachev. He’s been touted by many as the next big thing in the lightweight division. Let’s know who he is and how is related to The Eagle.
Who is Islam Makhachev?
Islam Makhachev is yet another fighter coming out of the crazy mountains of Dagestan. He trains with Khabib at the American Kickboxing Academy. He grew with the 155lb champ and also trained under his late father Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov.
Following the footsteps of his champion friend, he joined the promotion in 2015. Since then, he has seen gradual growth during the years due to his close friend ruling the division. Since he didn’t want to fight Eagle who is more than a brother to him, he is ranked at the 14th spot in 155lb rankings.
However, there’s no stopping Islam Makhchev now. The Eagle’s retirement has cleared his path to the glory. Besides that, he is also approaching his prime. So, with the skill set that he possesses the road to the ultimate glory doesn’t seem to be very far from him.
Who knows we might even see the lightweight strap around his waist by 2022.
How is Islam related to Khabib?
Many people are mistaken that since they grew up together, they must be brothers or cousins. Wrong! They are not blood-related. But the bond they share is way beyond the brotherhood. They are more than brothers. After all, years of training together have created a special bonding between them.
What do Islam’s teammates and coaches say about him?
Way before being a great MMA fighter, Makhachev had been touted as a special talent by his first coach and Eagle’s father Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov. Even in AKA, his coach Javier Mendez along with teammates like Daniel Cormier have spoken highly of him and his talent.
Mendez has gone as far as saying that Makhachev was the only person in the whole gym to defeat Khabib during sparring. Now, if you can beat The Eagle, any man doesn’t even stand a chance. He has been regularly spoken of to be better than Khabib by their teammates.
Since Makhachev and Nurmagomedov are the products of the same wrestling coach, there’s no doubt that both will be almost equally good at it. But, his stand-up skills are no joke either. DC has praised his skills on the feet and has said them to be better than Khabib’s stand-up fighting.
Who is Islam Makhachev fighting next?
Islam Makhachev is set to fight Thiago Moises in the main event of UFC Fight Night. He is on a seven-fight win streak and will look to make it eight as he takes on the BJJ ace.
Let us know in the comments section down below what do you think- will Islam be able to get past the hurdle named Drew Dober?