Islam Makhachev is a “better version” of former UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, says his manager Ali Abdelaziz.
Makhachev returns to the Octagon later this month at UFC 267 when he fights Dan Hooker in an important lightweight bout between two top-10 ranked fighters. Makhachev is 9-1 overall in the UFC and he is currently riding an eight-fight win streak and he’s looked dominant in all of his wins. It’s only natural that the comparison towards Nurmagomedov is made given that they are both Russian, both dominant grappling-based fighters, and both are represented by the same manager in terms of Abdelaziz. So the comparison is there.
Speaking to TMZ Sports in a recent interview, Abdelaziz praised Makhachev, who he believes is going to defeat Hooker in two weeks’ time. Not only does Abdelaziz believe that Makhachev has all the makings of a future champ, but he thinks he can be better than Nurmagomedov, which is obviously high praise given that Nurmagomedov went 29-0.
“I think he’s going to be one of the greatest fighters ever. I think he’s a better version of Khabib. I truly believe he is. He’s not now, but he can be, and I think he’s a future world champion, for sure,” Abdelaziz said about Makhachev.
Of course, Makhachev has a tough task ahead of him in Hooker at UFC 267. Although the Russian is a big favorite to win the fight, there is no doubt it is a step up in competition from the likes of Drew Dober and Thiago Moises. With a win over Hooker, especially if he can get the finish over a durable opponent, would put Makhachev at 10-1 and on a nine-fight wins streak, and at that point it would be hard to deny him a title shot at 155lbs.
Do you agree with Ali Abdelaziz that Islam Makhachev is a better version of Khabib Nurmagomedov?This article appeared first on BJPENN.COM