- Jon Anik reckoned Khabib Nurmafomedov’s absence won’t affect Islam Makhachev’s corner at UFC 284
- The UFC commentator bets “The Eagle” will still be there to corner the lightweight champ
Halfway through Islam Makhachev’s UFC 284 title fight with Alexander Volkanovski, his mentor Khabib Nurmagomedov decided to step away to focus on his personal life. Chael Sonnen isn’t buying it, Michael Bisping calls it “b***s***”, but whatever the real deal is, UFC commentator Jon Anik doesn’t think it’s gonna affect Makhachev’s corner.
Not a big deal
Speaking on “Bisping and Smith’s Bym Pod” podcast, Anik boldly said there’s not much of a change even if Nurmagomedov, the man who has significantly helped Makhachev reach the heights, won’t be there to corner the lightweight champ at UFC 284.
Anik also pointed out that in this sport, they really have to be away from their families for a long period of time and Nurmagomedov should know better.
“I really think that for Islam, obviously, Javier Mendez has been a unifying force for that team and I don’t think Islam’s corner is gonna be all that adversely affected, at least for this Volkanovski fight if Khabib Nurmagomedov is not there,” Anik said.
“But I think for a lot of us and I could speak to it probably to a lesser extent than you guys as the professional athletes, but a lot of us are away and make a lot of familial sacrifices to do what we do. And even for me talking to my wife like, ‘I’m in New Orleans doing some voice over work right now and it’s not even a UFC live event and I’m essentially gone all week.’ A lot of us that provide for our families while being away have a lot of hard conversations and sometimes they don’t just happen when your contract is up,” he continued. “So, I think that’s part of the pull for Khabib, what does it mean for his promotion? Right? This man has his own promotion as well that he is the face of, so I don’t know.”
Anik thinks Khabib will be there
Much like Bisping, Anik concluded that regardless of the drama, Nurmagomedov will be there to corner Makhachev.
“Right now, you guys know me as a betting man, I do think he’s gonna be in Islam’s corner in Perth,” Anik assumed.
Anik is one of the most recognizable voices of the UFC. He started his career as an anchor for ESPN. In 2011, Anik became a play-by-play commentator for the UFC.
Recent footage shows that Makhachev is currently on the mountain top, conditioning his body in an insanely cold place in Russia.
Makhachev will be defending his lightweight strap for the very first time against featherweight and pound-for-pound king Volkanovski, who, on the other hand, is aiming to become a two-division champion.
UFC 284 is set to take place on Feb. 11 at the RAC Arena in Perth, Western Australia, Australia.