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Khabib Nurmagomedov touts Islam Makhachev to become a 'big star'

Khabib Nurmagomedov and Islam Makhachev are close friends and teammates
Khabib Nurmagomedov and Islam Makhachev are close friends and teammates
Johny Payne
CONTRIBUTOR
Modified 20 Oct 2020, 08:00 IST
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Reigning UFC Lightweight Champion Khabib Nurmagomedov recently appeared on the Real Quick With Mike Swick Podcast and weighed in on multiple topics ahead of his all-important fight at UFC 254.

Nurmagomedov had words of high praise for his teammate and fellow UFC Lightweight fighter Islam Makhachev. The Eagle indicated that the UFC has something big in store for Makhachev. He also opined that Makhachev could be the next big star.

Khabib Nurmagomedov claims the UFC has “something big” planned for Islam Makhachev

Speaking to Mike Swick, Khabib Nurmagomedov chimed in with his two cents on training partner and up-and-coming Lightweight fighter Islam Makhachev.

Makhachev was initially scheduled to face former UFC Lightweight Champion Rafael dos Anjos at UFC 254. It would've been on the same fight card as Khabib Nurmagomedov's Lightweight Championship unification bout against Justin Gaethje.

However, after Dos Anjos had to withdraw from the fight due to testing positive for COVID-19, the UFC is yet to book Makhachev against a new opponent for UFC 254. With that in mind, the MMA community has been rife with speculation that Makhachev might not receive the opportunity to compete at UFC 254.

Khabib Nurmagomedov addressed Islam Makhachev’s conundrum, asserting that missing out on the chance to fight at UFC 254 was extremely tough for the latter.

Nurmagomedov reiterated that Makhachev’s a bit upset about it, adding that the latter has been pleading the UFC to give him an opponent to compete at UFC 254.

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Additionally, Nurmagomedov noted that the UFC might have “something big” in store for Makhachev.

“They (UFC) are gonna announce (something) about him in the next couple of days. They say they have something big for him.” (*H/T Sportskeeda for the transcription)

Khabib Nurmagomedov believes that Islam Makhachev could “become a big star”

Furthermore, in response to Mike Swick’s question as to whether Islam Makhachev is going to be the next big superstar from Khabib Nurmagomedov’s group, he stated:

“Yes. I think so. He just needs one, maybe two more fights – In my opinion, he deserves a UFC main event. He has to fight maybe one or two main events with top, high-level guys, and he can become a big star.
“Because I believe in his skills. I believe he has championship heart. And right now, he’s young. By the end of the next year, I think he can come into the top-5 of the Lightweight division. I really believe this.” (*H/T Sportskeeda for the transcription)

What are your views on Khabib Nurmagomedov’s statements regarding Islam Makhachev? Sound off in the comments.

Published 20 Oct 2020, 08:00 IST
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