UFC lightweight champion Islam Makhachev has received a hero’s welcome home.
The Dagestanian fighter is fresh off his headlining role with Charles Oliveira at UFC 280. The pay-per-view main event was meant to crown a new lightweight champion after ‘Do Bronx’ missed weight in May.
It took only two rounds for a new champion to be crowned last Saturday. After scoring a knockout near the end of the frame, Makhachev headed to the ground with the jiu-jitsu ace. It didn’t take long for him to get the victory by arm-triangle choke, and become champion.
The scene in Abu Dhabi was an emotional one. Makhachev received an incredible ovation from the crowd with the submission and kept it going in the post-fight interview. There, he dedicated the win to Khabib Nurmagomedov, and his late father, Abdulmanap.
Earlier this week, Islam Makhachev returned home to Dagestan for the first time as champion. While he brought the title home, the people of his home country brought the energy. To put it mildly, Makhachev received a wild reception from a massive crowd at the airport.
He also addressed the crowd and thanked them for coming, and offered to take pictures with fans.
— Shakiel Mahjouri (@Shak_Fu) October 26, 2022
“Salam Alaikum everybody,” stated Makhachev to the crowd of fans. “I’d like to thank everyone who came here to greet and support me. Later, we will eat together. There, we can talk and take pictures.”
The admiration that the newly crowned lightweight champion received was stunning. However, his title reign is just beginning. Following his win last Saturday, Makhachev called for a fight with featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski.
The Australian answered the challenge, and they mutually agreed to fight at UFC 284 in February. That card currently has Robert Whittaker vs. Paulo Costa confirmed for the event. Reports also state that another title fight, Aljamain Sterling vs. Henry Cejudo, could be added.
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