Khabib Nurmagomedov is not shying away when it comes to promoting long time friend Islam Makhachev. Makhachev was handed a title shot in part due to a lucrative partnership UFC has with UAE.
That same partnership is the biggest reason Nurmagomedov had one of the biggest UFC contracts at the time.
Even though the public criticizes Makhachev those who have trained with him usually have affirmative comments. One of the men that used to train out of American Kickboxing Academy is the newly crowned Welterweight champion Leon ‘Rocky’ Edwards.
And while Makhachev is prepping for his lightweight title shot, his coach and friend isn’t discounting a move to welterweight.
“Too early to say. He hasn’t even got the 155 Belt yet. But if he gets it and defends it a few times, Islam in his best shape walks around at 178.5 lbs. Who knows. He used to spar with Leon Edwards a lot in 2015-2016 by the way. Everything that happens in the gym, stays in the gym but Islam did really good back then,”
Khabib said speaking to the reporters.
This isn’t the first time Khabib Nurmagomedov let it sleep how Makhachev did in training. He was previously caught commenting about how Makhachev was winning against ADCC gold medalists who outweigh him in the gym.
“They tap when when they grapple with Islam. I see 88 kilo 99 kilo 77 kilo – I don’t want to say name but they tap – ADCC world champion, you know, and and it’s gonna be big dream fight versus Charles Oliveira in Brazil, finish them on the ground. “
After some push back UFC announced that Oliveira will face Islam Makhachev for the vacant lightweight belt at UFC 280 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Oliveira is itching for a bigger payday and would prefer to face Conor McGregor. In fact, Makhachev believes the only reason why Oliveira accepted the UFC 280 vacant title shot is because UFC threatened to sub him with Michael Chandler.