There was a lot of publicity surrounding UFC 284 due to the absence of Khabib Nurmagomedov. Nurmagomedov made the decision to take a step back from the public MMA life, and reduce the time he spends traveling in order to spend life with his family.
This wasn’t the first time Makhachev competed without Khabib by his side but it’s certainly the biggest event.
Khabib often corners Makhachev and is able to call the action from the corner and enable Makhachev to submit his opponents.
Makhachev and Volkanovski went 5 rounds in the main event of UFC 284 and came to a unanimous decision win for Makhachev.
After the event, Makhachev facetimed Khabib and the two discussed his performance. Islam Makhachev told media at the presser:
“He thought so nervous. And he said, ‘Why are you doing this, this, this …?’, I say if you come too and if you will (be in) my corner. I can do this. But you didn’t.”
Makhachev went on to share praise for Khabib later on going so far to heap praise on him:
“I think Khabib is a not just best fighter, not a champion. He’s a, I don’t know, He is. For me, he’s best guy in the world.”
Nurmagomedov shared praise for Makhachev on social media saying:
“Simply the best 👊
Proved it in a hard, competitive fight against the best active fighter on the planet. There is always something to work on. But this story will remain for a long time in this sport.
Just have a flashback on your memory of who topped the best regardless of weight category from Eurasia in the history of MMA, there were only a couple of fighters and Islam was already on that list.
You are already history Brother”
It’s worth noting that Nurmagomedov only became UFC’s Pound for Pound champion in the week following his final UFC performance – against Justin Gaethje.
Since 2014, Benny A. King has been fully immersed in the world of combat sports. Starting with a blog about Greco Roman wrestling, Benny’s passion for combat sports has led him to explore various disciplines.