islam makhachev

'I know who made me': Islam Makhachev reveals his biggest inspiration

UFCMay 27, 21:56
While Khabib Nurmagomedov has been instrumental in Islam Makhachev's rise to UFC fame, there's another individual to whom the reigning lightweight champion owes a great deal of his success.
On June 1, Makhachev is set to defend his 155-pound title in a much-anticipated bout against Dustin Poirier at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, USA.
Born in Dagestan, Russia, Makhachev and Khabib Nurmagomedov bonded through intense sambo competitions, challenging some of the sport's fiercest opponents.
Their journey to the top of the UFC was one of mutual support and relentless determination.
Together, they pushed each other to achieve their childhood aspirations. With extraordinary talent and an indomitable will to succeed, both fighters reached the zenith of their careers. Khabib cemented his legacy in 2018 before retiring, allowing Makhachev to step into the spotlight.
On October 22, 2022, in Abu Dhabi, UAE, Makhachev showcased his skills by submitting Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt Charles Oliveira, earning widespread acclaim.
Despite their humble beginnings in Eastern Europe, Makhachev and Nurmagomedov demonstrated that no ambition is too grand. While Khabib's mentorship was crucial, Makhachev attributes much of his success to another key figure: Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov, Khabib’s father.
In the UFC 302 Countdown Show, Makhachev revealed, "I gave the belt to Khabib because I know who shaped me. Him and his father [Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov]."
Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov, a legendary coach who guided 18 fighters to Combat Sambo world championships, left a profound impact. Although he has passed away, his legacy lives on in Makhachev's corner as he prepares for the fight against Poirier.
When Khabib retired at the peak of his career, he left fans wanting more. Many still hope for his return, especially for potential matchups against legends like Georges St-Pierre or a rematch with Conor McGregor.
However, Khabib remains focused on life beyond the octagon, fully supporting Makhachev in his pursuit of victory this weekend.
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