Islam Makhachev is one of the rising stars of the UFC lightweight division. The Dagestani fighter has an impressive record of 20 wins and 1 loss, and is currently ranked fifth in the division. He is also a close friend and training partner of the former UFC lightweight champion and MMA legend, Khabib Nurmagomedov. But are they related by blood? Here’s what you need to know.
Childhood friends and teammates
Islam Makhachev and Khabib Nurmagomedov have known each other since they were children. They grew up together in the republic of Dagestan, where they started training in combat sambo under the guidance of Khabib’s late father, Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov. They both became world champions in sambo, and later transitioned to MMA.
They have always supported each other in their careers, and have been present for each other’s fights. They also train together at the American Kickboxing Academy (AKA) in San Jose, California, under the coaching of Javier Mendez. They have a similar style of fighting, which involves dominant wrestling and ground-and-pound.
Not biological brothers, but brothers in spirit
Despite their similar appearances and backgrounds, Islam Makhachev and Khabib Nurmagomedov are not biologically related. They are not cousins, brothers, or any other kind of kin. However, they share a bond that is stronger than blood. They consider each other as brothers in spirit, and have a mutual respect and admiration for each other.
Islam Makhachev has stated that he wants to be like Khabib, who he considers as a great man, a champion, and a humble person. He has also said that he never wanted to fight Khabib in the UFC, and that he would rather move up or down a weight class than face him.
Khabib Nurmagomedov has also praised Islam Makhachev as one of the best fighters in the world, and has predicted that he will take his place as the lightweight champion after his retirement. He has also taken on the role of a mentor and a coach for Islam, and has helped him prepare for his fights.
The future of the lightweight division
Islam Makhachev is on a winning streak right now, and is looking to climb up the rankings and challenge for the title. He is set to face Beneil Dariush at UFC 273 on February 26th, 2023. If he wins this fight, he will be one step closer to fulfilling his dream of becoming the champion.
Khabib Nurmagomedov retired from MMA in October 2020, after defending his title against Justin Gaethje at UFC 254. He left behind a legacy of being one of the greatest fighters of all time, with an undefeated record of 29-0. He is now focused on coaching his teammates and friends, including Islam Makhachev.
Islam Makhachev and Khabib Nurmagomedov are not related by blood, but they are related by their friendship, their faith, and their passion for MMA. They are both proud representatives of Dagestan and Russia, and they are both aiming to make history in the sport.