Khabib Nurmagomedov praises Islam Makhachev ahead of UFC 267: “He’s top-10 in pound-for-pound right now”

Islam Makhachev, Khabib Nurmagomedov
Image via @Khabib_nurmagomedov on Instagram

Former UFC lightweight champ Khabib Nurmagomedov praised Islam Makhachev ahead of UFC 267, saying “he’s top-10 in pound-for-pound right now.”

Nurmagomerdov and Makhachev are longtime friends as well as training partners at American Kickboxing Academy. Nurmagomedov was the former UFC lightweight champion and is considered by many to be one of the greatest MMA fighters of all time. But he retired earlier this year, and he essentially passed the torch on to Makhachev to continue the legacy of Russian lightweight champions. There have been many who have said that Makhachev has what it takes to be the next Nurmagomedov.

In fact, the man himself believes in Makhachev as well. Speaking to fellow AKA teammate Daniel Cormier on the  “DC & RC” podcast, Nurmagomedov gushed over Makhachev, calling him a top-10 P4P fighter and predicting he will win the belt.

“Islam is the real deal. He’s one of the best in the world. I believe he’s top-10 in pound-for-pound right now. But Islam quiet. He don’t like to talk too much. But me and (Daniel Cormier), we always try to push him. And after this fight we have to call out champion. Early next year he have to fight for the title against the winner of Dustin Poirier and Charles Oliveira,” Nurmagomedov said (h/t MMAjunkie.com).

Makhachev has a 9-1 record in the UFC and he is currently riding an eight-fight win streak, so he has been doing everything in his power to move up the lightweight rankings. This Saturday at UFC 267, he takes on the best opponent of his career when he faces off against Drew Dober. Makhachev is a big favorite to win the fight, and should he get his hand raised, expect for him to call for the next title shot at 155lbs.

Do you agree with Khabib Nurmagomedov that Islam Makhachev is one of the top-10 pound-for-pound MMA fighters in the world right now?

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