Islam Makhachev makes a bold claim ahead of the biggest fight of his career! He will fight the no. 1 ranked lightweight title contender in the UFC 280 main event for the vacant belt. Charles Oliveira is perhaps the best Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioner in the division. So fans are interested to know how he handles Charles’ BJJ skills. But according to Islam, not only Oliveira, he can even defeat Jordan Burroughs!
In October 2021, Makhachev was gearing up to fight Dan Hooker in the UAE. Ahead of that fight, he had a sit-down interview with the former UFC heavyweight champ and his American Kickboxing Academy (AKA) teammate Daniel Cormier. In their conversation, Makhachev stated that he would like to face an Olympic wrestler. When DC brought up Jordan Burroughs, Makhachev stated that he may beat him!
“You have to brother, bring some Olympic-level guy to AKA. I wanna wrestle. Jordan Burroughs is gonna be good match… I respect him brother but this guy have just double leg, I’m gonna defend his double leg and that’s it. And how he take point? He go double leg, everybody defends, he push everybody. But in AKA, we have rope, he can not push me.”
For MMA fans who may not know who Jordan is, he is considered one of the best amateur wrestlers in American history. He is a 3-time NCAA Division 1 Wrestling Champion, 4-time US Open Champion, 5-time Pan American Champion, 3-time gold medalist in Pan American Games, 6-time World Champion and 1-time Olympic gold medalist in 2012.
He recently had an exhibition amateur wrestling bout against Ben Askern, where Jordan beat Ben with a score of 11-0, which meant it was a technical fall. There were also talks of Jordan possibly trying out his hand in MMA. However, at the age of 34, the clock is running out for him.
Islam Makhachev is a Combat Sambo World Champion
Islam Makhachev is an acclaimed grappler himself. So far in his MMA career, Makhachev has managed to submit 10 of his opponents and 4 of those have come in the UFC. Although he started his MMA career in 2010, Makhachev continued his grappling career and become the Combat Sambo World Champion in 2016.
He is a 4-time Combat Sambo Russian National Champion and became the FIAS World Combat Sambo Gold Medalist in 2016. His sambo skills have helped him dominate opponents inside the Octagon. Although Sambo is somewhat similar to wrestling, it has proved to be more effective in MMA. Khabib Nurmagomedov primarily used sambo to go undefeated in his MMA career.
Recently in preparation for his UFC 280 fight, Makhachev was seen sparring and taking down Olympic silver medalist Kadimagomedov. Hence, there might be some validity to the claim that Makhachev may give Jordan Burroughs some trouble if they come across each other on a wrestling mat. But it is unlikely that fans will ever get to see that, as they are not likely to go up against each other anytime soon.