Khabib Nurmagomedov outlines plan for Islam Makhachev to be named 2021 fighter of the year

Islam Makhachev, Khabib Nurmagomedov
Image via @Khabib_nurmagomedov on Instagram

Former UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov outlined the plan for Islam Makhachev to be named the 2021 fighter of the year in MMA.

Makhachev defeated Thiago Moises via fourth-round submission at UFC Vegas 31 on Saturday in what was arguably his coming-out party. Makhachev now has a 9-1 record in the UFC with an eight-fight win streak and he is quickly emerging as one of the best fighters in the division in the post-Nurmagomedov world. In fact, his longtime friend and training partner is so confident in Makhachev’s abilities that he believes he has what it takes to be the fighter of the year in 2021, although he knows it will be an uphill battle.

Speaking to ESPN’s Brett Okamoto following UFC Vegas 31, Nurmagomedov said that the plan for the term at American Kickboxing Academy is for Makhachev to fight once more before the end of the year and pick up his third finish in 2021 following his wins over Moises and Drew Dober, and hopefully, that’s enough for him to be crowned champion.

Khabib Nurmagomedov tells me the plan is for Islam Makhachev to get one more fight near the end of the year, get a finish, and be named Fighter of the Year. He’s 2-0 with two finishes so far. He’d have to beat out some tough competition. Usman, Moreno, Ngannou are tops, I’d say.

Makhachev is currently the No. 9 ranked lightweight in the UFC and it will be interesting to see who the promotion matches him up with next. Following the win over Moises, Makhachev called out former UFC lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos, a fighter who Nurmagomedov previously defeated. It’s a fight that makes perfect sense so hopefully the UFC is able to get this one done for five rounds before the end of the year.

Do you think Islam Makhachev can realize the plan Khabib Nurmagomedov has set out for him?

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