Makhachev competes for the lightweight gold that Khabib held during his career so successfully at UFC 281 against Charles Oliviera. Nurmagomedov is now a coach to the men he once called teammates, and will undoubtedly be in the corner of Makhachev come October. 22-1, Makhachev feels he is the heir to the throne in the cage but has hinted at another probable route for him, post-fighting.
Speaking to Brett Okamoto, the AKA fighter said:
“About this (retirement), I am not like Khabib. He still going everywhere, like, every fight. He comes and corners all fighters from our gyms. Every day, he flies (to) some other country. I just want to, after I retire, spend more time with family and with my friends, because last almost 10 years, I am always in the camp or US or some other country. After the career, I want to spend more time in the city with my family.”
Makhachev: Russia’s Next Champion?
While coaching may not be for Makhachev, the similarities to Nurmagomedov are striking. A crushing grappling game combined with an ever-improving stand-up game makes him a daunting prospect to face for any 155lb fighter. His opponent, though, does not fear much. Charles “Do Bronx” Oliviera is one of the UFC‘s most seasoned fighters.
Since his move to Brazillian mega gym Chute Boxe under Diego Lima in 2018, he has not lost. In fact, out of the last eleven men to try, only Tony Ferguson has seen the bell. Stopping Michael Chandler, Justin Gaethje and Dustin Poirier in sequence should command anyone’s respect. Yet, most still favor Islam Makhachev, including the bookies.
“Do Bronx” though carries himself like the champion he is, in all but name. His confidence grows after each fight, as it should. Abu Dhabi may just be upset by Oliviera and his fearsome finishing abilities. They will hope though, that their guy, Islam Makachev, like Khabib before him, claims the gold.
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