Makhachev’s loss happened 7 years ago and it Disqualifies him from being a Great by Khabib’s standards

On October 3 in 2015, UFC lightweight title challenger Islam Makahachev suffered his one only loss in MMA. He was caught by surprise and received a powerful punch that knocked him out.

Islam Makhachev is often branded as the new Khabib Nurmagomedov. He trained right under Khabib himself and shared a similar style, with both possessing a great skill set in Sambo, a grappling martial art that has some striking. However, one thing that differentiate him and Khabib is the fact that Makhachev doesn’t have a clean record.

While Khabib amassed a 29-0 record until he retired in 2020, Makhachev has had one loss. His loss came from Adriano Martins at UFC 192. It was Makhachev’s second UFC bout, having previously submitted Leo Kuntz in his promotional debut.

Adriano Martins had way more experience when he faced Makhachev. He has a 27-7 record while Makhachev was undefeated with a total of 12 matches. At the time, both Makhachev and Khabib were still training under Khabib’s father Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov.

Their showdown lasted less than 2 minutes and it went pretty fierce so it’s hard to determine who was leading on the scorecard. The action mostly occurred with both athletes standing on their feet, meaning Makhachev barely using his Sambo expertise.

Before Makhachev managed to takedown Martins, Martins blitzed Islam with a quick right punch that landed right on Makhachev’s jaw. The Dagestani lost his consciousness and Martins layered on ground-and-pound but the ref was quick enough to prevent unnecessary damage.

Interestingly this exact loss disqulifie Makhachev from being a great in the mind of Nurmagomedov. During an interview where he discussed Charles Oliveira, Nurmagomedov dismissed his legacy saying:

“Nobody ever touched my face. And [every] time he goes down, people cannot talk about… like compare me vs. Charles Oliveira. He tapped in [the] UFC three times. Please, come on!”

He went on to add: “He always goes down. This is like a little bit [questionable], you know.”

Makhachev bounced back from that loss and won 10 in a row. Meanwhile, Martins lost 2 matches following that victory and was released from the UFC. He lost another three in other MMA promotions.

Islam Makhachev is now set to have his first UFC title shot on October 23. The 31-year-old will headline UFC 280 with former lightweight champion Charles Oliveira to compete for the vacant lightweight belt.