Israel Adesanya Breaks Down The Difference Between Islam Makhachev & ‘Scary To Watch’ Khabib Nurmagomedov As Fighters

It was always going to be a tall order for Islam Makhachev to live up to what Khabib Nurmagomedov was able to accomplish in the UFC. However since “The Eagle” retired with his undefeated record intact, Makhachev at three years younger has started to take over at 155 pounds.

The current lightweight champion can match his coach and training partner’s total title defenses at three this weekend if he is able to beat Dustin Poirier in the main event of UFC 302.

Despite coming from the same area, team, and dominating style of wrestling, there are some clear differences between the two men…

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Adesanya Says Makhachev Is A Better Striker, But Khabib Was A ‘Savage’

Potentially due to being the younger of the two, Makhachev has been able to advance his game further than Nurmagomedov in the eyes of some.

Many point to him being a much better and more natural striker than the former champion, as echoed by Israel Adesanya in his recent breakdown video of Saturday night’s event.

Despite the improvements that the current titleholder has made in this area, Adesanya also pointed out that there was something that Nurmagomedov had that made him special.

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Something that you can’t teach even to fighters that follow the exact same path as “The Eagle.”

“I think he’s got better striking than Khabib, but he’s not as — Khabib was just a savage, bro. He was a crazy man, it’s different. He’s just a mauler,” Adesanya said. “What was the one I watched live? (Edson) Barboza, that one. When I saw that live and the pace he put on him, even after eating the wheel kick… that was scary to watch.

“Makhachev is more clean, more polished, even more dynamic than Khabib,” Adesanya continued. “But yeah, if I’m going to put money on this fight, I’m going to go Islam Makhachev, but look, my heart tells me I want Dustin (Poirier) to win.”     

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