Saturday, December 3, 2022

Islam Makhachev Names What Surprised Him About Americans

Islam Makhachev was taken aback by the U.S culture on his first trip to America.

Islam Makhachev is heading into his first-ever UFC title fight. He has been in the UFC for seven years now and has had the chance to fight all over the world. This bout against Charles Oliveira will be in Abu Dhabi, a home away from home for Makhachev and his team. He has fought there twice now and seems to be comfortable in that environment. The same cannot be said for the first time he visited America.

Makhachev came to the UFC in 2015, his very first bout was in Las Vegas, NV. Before that, he had only fought in Asia and was in for a culture shock when he arrived. He spoke about his initial reaction to The United States in a recent interview with UFC Russia.

“My first trip, my English was at zero. I would always wear headphones so that nobody would talk to me. All I could say was, ‘I don’t speak English.’ I didn’t go anywhere because I didn’t understand anyone,” he said. “I only went out with Ali (Abdelaziz) and Khabib so that they could translate for me.”

Islam Makhachev Was Surprised By Americans At First

Islam Makhachev
Zuffa LLC

Makhachev has come a long way since that time. He can now speak English very well and can hold an entire interview in English. Since that first fight, Makhachev has had seven fights in the U.S including Massachusets, New York, and Texas. He has also spent a great deal of time training in the U.S with his teammate and coach Khabib Nurmagomeov.

“There’s a reason I always wore headphones — everyone tries to talk to you and ask you something,” he said. “Americans are just different from us. The people are nice, they’re always smiling and greeting you. I was surprised by how friendly they are.”

If Makhachev wins at UFC 280 he will likely have many more opportunities to visit the U.S. and places all around the world. However, he has a very tough task ahead of him with former champion Charles Oliveira.

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