Khabib Nurmagomedov returns in the main event of UFC 254 to defend his lightweight title. Along with him, his longtime teammate, Islam Makachev was also scheduled to compete in the main card of UFC 254.
Islam Makachev was supposed to take on the former UFC lightweight champion, Rafael Dos Anjos. However, RDA had to withdraw from the fight after he tested positive for COVID-19.
Till now UFC has not been able to find an alternative for Islam Makachev. And it seems Makahcev might miss out on competing on a huge card such as UFC 254.
Khabib Nurmagomedov showed support to his teammate in this tough situation and predicted that Makachev will be the future lightweight champion. The Eagle said:
“5 years ago I’ve been in same situation like Islam Makachev
today. No one wants take a fight with him today. Next lightweight champion InshaAllah #ufc254″
Khabib Nurmagomedov had a similar trajectory
Islam Makachev has called out Michael Chandler and Dan Hooker to fight at UFC 254. But, those fights are very unlikely to happen. Makachev’s manager, Ali Abdelaziz even made a bizarre call-out to Tony Ferguson. But, as expected Ferguson let that one pass by.
Islam Makachev is one of the hottest prospects in UFC. He has huge potential but he has not fought any big names yet. Former interim title contender, Kevin Lee has repeatedly called out Islam Makachev for a fight, but that fight has not come to fruition yet. And now, Makachev needs an opponent on short notice desperately.
The UFC lightweight champion, Khabib Nurmagomedov is somewhat familiar to the position Makachev is in. When Khabib Nurmagomedov was on the rise and dominating every single opponent many top-ranked lightweights said no to fight him.
For years Khabib Nurmagomedov had to wait for Conor McGregor to fight for the title. And he had to go on an unbelievable winning streak to earn the opportunity to fight for the title.
A win over RDA would have been the biggest achievement of Makachev’s career in UFC. Unfortunately, Makachev will have to wait for a little longer to get an opportunity to shine under the bright lights.