Islam Told To ‘Wrap It Up’
Following his capture of the UFC Lightweight title against Charles Oliveira at UFC 280, Makhachev went back home to Dagestan. He didn’t just receive a hero’s welcome but also a nudge from his mom to leave his fighting career behind him.
“My mother doesn’t watch fights, not just my fights— fights in general,” Makhachev told Red Corner MMA. “She doesn’t like seeing people hit each other. When I came home there were a lot of people there. She said, ‘you’re champion now, wrap it up. Khabib listened to his mother, when will you listen to yours?'”
Of course this also happened to Nurmagomedov, the former UFC Lightweight Champion as well as Makhachev’s teammate. Following the death of Khabib’s father, his mother wanted him to call it quits on a perfect career.
Khabib would honor his mother’s wishes and hung up his gloves inside the cage after defending his lightweight title against Justin Gaethje back in 2020. ‘The Eagle’ hasn’t soared since which is contrasting to a good amount of MMA retirements.
Makhachev made a case to his mother using this history, citing he still had yet to defend his title at the time.
“I told her Khabib defended his title and I need to do the same,” Makhachev added. “It’s a hard topic for my mother. My father’s the opposite. He watches all the fights.”
Fast forward to this year and Makhachev has just defended his title against Alexander Volkanovski in one of the biggest fights of the year. Following the defense, it is unsure at this time if Islam Makhachev will follow in Khabib Nurmagomedov’s footsteps by listening to his mother and retiring in his prime.