"Changed the sport" - Khabib Nurmagomedov's manager believes 'The Eagle' would overshadow Islam Makhachev

Khabib Nurmagomedov (Left) and Islam Makhachev (Right) (Image Courtesy - @MAKHACHEVMMA on X/Twitter)
Khabib Nurmagomedov (Left) and Islam Makhachev (Right) (Image Courtesy - @MAKHACHEVMMA on X/Twitter)

Khabib Nurmagomedov and Islam Makhachev are two of the most dominant fighters the sport of mixed martial arts (MMA) has ever seen. Despite many being curious about who is better, the two are good friends, and a fight between them inside the octagon is all but impossible, particularly considering the fact that Nurmagomedov hung up the gloves and Makhachev took up his mantle.

That being said, many fans and fighters still debate as to who, between the two, is the better fighter. In a recent appearance on the Show Me The Money podcast, Ali Abdelaziz, who manages Makhachev and managed Nurmagomedov when he was in active competition, was asked who between the two is the better fighter.

Abdelaziz pointed out the impact Khabib Nurmagomedov had on the sport as a whole, both inside and outside the cage, saying:

"Khabib is Khabib man. Khabib is just not only in the cage, outside the cage, that guy changed the sport. Because of him, people know about Dagestan. Nobody ever [knew] the Dagestanis before. People say words in Arabic [like] Alhamdullilah, Salaam Alaykum.
"He brought a lot of things. Oh you're Muslim? People were scared, you know. Now people say Salaam Alaykum, how are you? Every religion have good people and bad people, and I'll say it, that's who I am, I am Muslim, I am from Dagestan, but I like everyone...and he's a man of integrity."

Check out Ali Abdelaziz's comments here (46:06):

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Khabib Nurmagomedov and Islam Makhachev's MMA records - How do they compare?

Khabib Nurmagomedov's legendary run saw him retire undefeated, with an overall record of 29-0, with 13 of those wins coming under the UFC banner. He captured the UFC lightweight gold along the way, and holds wins over some of the promotion's biggest names, including Conor McGregor, Justin Gaethje and Dustin Poirier, among others.

Islam Makhachev, on the other hand, is still writing his own story, and is arguably in the peak of his powers at the moment. He currently reigns over the 155-pound division, and holds a professional record of 25-1. Unlike Khabib Nurmagomedov, he has lost in the octagon, as he was knocked out by Adriano Martins back in 2015.

Makhachev has since improved drastically, and holds wins over pound-for-pound greats like Charles Oliveira and Alexander Volkanovski, whom he defeated twice. He is set to face Dustin Poirier at UFC 302 on June 1 at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.

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