Vadim Nemkov On Training With Makhachev: “He Crushed Me Like a Concrete Slab”

Bellator light heavyweight champ Vadim Nemkov knows firsthand just how good Islam Makhachev‘s grappling is.

Makhachev, who captured the UFC lightweight title at UFC 280 last month, has long been feared in the division for his phenomenal grappling. The 31-year-old is widely considered MMA’s best proponent of the Dagestani school of wrestling made famous by his coach and consensus lightweight GOAT Khabib Nurmagomedov.

Such is Makhachev’s grappling prowess that to claim the title, he submitted the UFC’s submission record holder Charles Oliveira with an arm-triangle. He now holds 11 career submissions, with six of those coming in the UFC.

Islam Makhachev, Charles Oliveira, UFC 280

Vadim Nemkov Details Experience Grappling With Islam Makhachev

One man who knows all too well about Islam’s grappling ability is Nemkov. The duo have both won gold medals at the World Sambo Championships as part of the Russian national team and trained together some five years ago.

In a recent interview, Nemkov shared insight into how good Makhachev’s grappling was back then. He said that despite outweighing Islam by more than 50 pounds, the Dagestani gave him a true run for his money.

“He’s really tight on you when it comes to wrestling,” said Nemkov. “I’m used to letting smaller guys work on offensive positions. Let them work their top control, from top position. When I let him work from the top position, he crushed me like a concrete slab. I was flabbergasted by his control.”

Makhachev will next test his grappling against pound-for-pound king Alexander Volkanovski when they meet at UFC 284 in February.

What’s your take on Vadim Nemkov’s assessment of Islam Makhachev’s wrestling?