Islam Makhachev was scheduled to main event the card against former UFC Lightweight champion RDA but has now withdrawn from the bout citing an undisclosed injury.
Makhachev, who is touted as the next big thing in the lightweight division, was supposed to be RDA’s first fight in the lightweight division since the latter's loss to Tony Ferguson in November 2016.
According to reports from various sources, many top-ranked UFC Lightweights had refused to go head-to-head with the Dagestani fighter before former champion RDA signed on the dotted line.
Islam is a long time training partner and childhood friend of UFC Lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov. Khabib’s father Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov was Makhachev’s first coach in Dagestan and both fighters have grown up training together.
While Khabib has already won the lightweight title, Islam, the younger of the two, is expected by many to carry the Dagestani torch in the division.
However, his rise towards the top of the 155-pound rankings has suffered a major setback due to his withdrawal from the fight. Many believed this fight against RDA would have been his biggest challenge to date.
Islam Makhachev is 7 – 1 in the UFC
Islam Makhachev’s last outing in the UFC was against Davi Ramos at UFC 242 in September 2019. His withdrawal from the UFC Vegas 14 main event implies that he would have not fought even once in 2020.
Islam Makhachev got his UFC contract on the back of impressive performances in the Russian promotion M-1.
He finished Leo Kuntz in his UFC debut in May 2015 at UFC 187.
While Islam Makhchev would lose his subsequent bout to Adriano Martins via a first-round KO at UFC 192 in October 2015, he would go on to string together an impressive win-streak thereafter.
Islam Makhachev has wins over names like Nik Lentz, Gleison Tibau, and Arman Tsarukyan on his resume and while he may only have 3 finishes to his credit in the UFC, his wrestling and overall skill-set makes all his decision wins seem dominant, not unlike his childhood friend Khabib Nurmagomedov.Published 09 Nov 2020, 15:15 IST