Khabib Nurmagomedov's absence from Islam Makhachev's corner could have adverse impact, says Henry Cejudo

From left to right: Khabib Nurmagomedov, Islam Makhachev, and Henry Cejudo
From left to right: Khabib Nurmagomedov, Islam Makhachev, and Henry Cejudo

Khabib Nurmagomedov will not be in Islam Makhachev's corner at UFC 284. Makhachev will attempt to claim the top spot in the pound-for-pound rankings when he faces Alexander Volkanovski at the upcoming pay-per-view and Henry Cejudo believes this could affect the lightweight champion.

The LW belt & P4P status are π™Šπ™π™π™„π˜Ύπ™„π˜Όπ™‡π™‡π™” on the line πŸ‘‘@MakhachevMMA takes on @AlexVolkanovski in the #UFC284 main event![ Feb. 11 | Get your tickets early at 🎟 ]

While breaking down the upcoming fight, Cejudo used the UFC 283 bout between Deiveson Figueiredo and Brandon Moreno to make his point, stating:

"You know what happened in that fight guys? Deiveson Figueiredo did not train with me in this fight. When you see him fight from the last time that he fought to this recent fight that he had, he was a completely different fighter... I bring that up because Khabib Nurmagomedov is not going to be in Islam's corner... What's going to happen in that fight now?"

Cejudo continued:

"Will Islam still have that chip on his shoulder? Will he still have that motivation like he did of actually becoming the best in the world... Javier Mendez does play a big role in Islam's fight career, and I think seeing him there, it's almost like having Khabib, but is it or is it not?... I still do believe Islam will win, but now, I can give Alexander Volkanovski more than a chance."

While Khabib Nurmagomedov will not be in Makhachev's corner at UFC 284, he has fought without his close friend in his corner in the past. It remains to be seen if Khabib's absence will have an effect now that the lightweight champion is fighting tougher competition.

Watch the full video below


Islam Makhachev shares thoughts on Khabib Nurmagomedov's absence from upcoming title defense

Islam Makhachev will attempt to defend his title for the first time against featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski at UFC 284. The lightweight champion recently opened up on Khabib Nurmagomedov's absence from his corner. Speaking to FoxSports Australia, Makhachev stated:

"When the cage door close, no one is there for you. Of course, it’s going to be different but I’ve already fought without him a couple of times. And he cannot always be with me. Of course, it’s very good when he is here. I always like when he is with me because he knows all the games being played... You don’t have to spend your energy thinking about other things."

Makhachev added that he understands his friend's decision and the importance of being there for his family. As for his opponent, Volkanovski claimed that he hopes Khabib's absence won't be used as an excuse if he emerges victorious at UFC 284 as he looks to become just the fifth double champion in UFC history.

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Edited by David Andrew
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