MMA heavyweight legend Fedor Emelianenko recently gave some interesting advice to Islam Makhachev in the aftermath of him winning the UFC lightweight belt.
Islam Makhachev scored an impressive submission win against former champion Charles Oliveira at UFC 280 in Abu Dhabi, UAE. ‘Do Bronx’ was believed to have better striking and grappling but Makhachev proved himself. Dagestani sensation knocked down Oliveira and submitted him via arm triangle choke in the second round, becoming the new lightweight champion.
MMA legend Fedor Emelianenko, who currently competes at Bellator MMA, congratulated him for his big victory and for taking home the lightweight belt.
“I hope Islam [Makhachev] remains UFC champion for a long time. But this is such a weight category where there are always competitors. Thank God that Islam won. I got the impression that he won quickly. He defeated the reigning champion without much effort.” Emelianenko said.
The 46-year-old Russian also warned Islam Makhachev and advised him to be careful. He reminded Makhachev that the UFC lightweight division is the most stacked division in the promotion, filled with a lot of phenomenal contenders.
“But, Islam needs to be careful. Islam needs to understand that it is constantly breathing down its back. Anything can happen. This is a very dynamic and a very dangerous weight class.”
However, Makhachev’s first title defense will not be against a lightweight contender. It will be against longtime featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski, who will be moving up to the lightweight division. They will headline UFC 284 event in Volkanovski’s home country Australia with the lightweight belt on the line.
As for Emelianenko, he will end his two decades MMA career. “The Last Emperor” will have his retirement bout at Bellator 290 in February. He will take on his old opponent Ryan Brader, who knocked him out in 35 seconds back in 2019.