Khabib Nurmagomedov believes Islam Makhachev ‘mauls’ Dan Hooker: ‘Only thing he has is a lucky punch’

Islam Makhachev, Khabib Nurmagomedov
Image via @Khabib_nurmagomedov on Instagram

Khabib Nurmagomedov believes the only way Dan Hooker beats Islam Makhachev is by a lucky punch.

Makhachev is a pupil of Nurmagomedov and was supposed to fight Rafael dos Anjos at UFC 267 in October. Yet, the Brazilian was forced out of the fight and Hooker took the fight on short notice and for Nurmagomedov, he expects Makhachev to maul Hooker.

“Islam vs. Dan Hooker is gonna be a very big challenge for Islam,” Nurmagomedov said about Makhachev vs. Hooker during a recent interview in the UK (h/t MMAJunkie). “It’s gonna be a good challenge. He’s (Hooker) No. 6 in the rankings, but I think Hooker never fought someone like Islam. All his fights have been against striker. I don’t know what he’s going to do with Islam’s wrestling, pressure, dominance on the ground, how he’s gonna stop him. Only one thing he has is a lucky punch. Without this, 99 percent Islam mauls him.”

Islam Makhachev has mauled most of his opponents as last time out, he dominated Thiago Moises en route to a fourth-round submission in his first UFC main event. Prior to that, he submitted Drew Dober at UFC 259 in a fight he controlled Dober for the entire fight. However, there is no question Hooker is a step-up in competition for Makhachev and he certainly has the skills to upset the Dagestani native. But, for Nurmagomedov, he doesn’t think Hooker will be able to.

As for Hooker, he returned to the win column back at UFC 266 as he beat Nasrat Haqparast by decision. Prior to that, he was knocked out by Michael Chandler and dropped a decision to Dustin Poirier. However, after getting the win against Haqparast, he then took the short-notice fight against Nurmagomedov’s pupil in Makhachev.

Do you agree with Khabib Nurmagomedov that Islam Makhachev mauls Dan Hooker at UFC 267? Sound off in the comment section, PENN Nation!

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