Khabib Nurmagomedov is coming to the defense of his friend and mentee Islam Makhachev.
The biggest fight of Islam Makhachev’s career is quickly approaching and the young fighter is already taking shots from his opponent. Makhachev will be taking on the former UFC lightweight champion Charles Oliveira in a title fight to be held at UFC 280 in October. Recently Oliveira has lashed out at Makhachev and his team, calling them arrogant. It seemed that in the rant, Oliveira was pointing his finger more so toward Nurmagomedov and his manager Ali Abdelaziz than Makhachev himself, but either way, the Russian fighter, and his coach have taken offense.
Khabib Nurmagomedov thinks the pressure from the fight is getting to Charles Oliveira
At a recent Eagle FC event in Kyrgyzstan, Nurmegomedov was approached by the media and asked about these comments by Oliveira, he responded and his comments were posted by Sambo Says on YouTube.
“First of all, how can you disparage the man who won the Fighter of the Year award in 2022? So no one is disparaging him. 11 fights in a row he has won with so many finishes,” Nurmagomedov said. “I think it is silly to think we’re underestimating this fight. This is a very hard fight first of all. Second, tell me in what interview did he refer to him with arrogance? He always referred to him as a champion. If we say that we want to finish the fight early I don’t see arrogance in that. I don’t see arrogance in that at all. We have a plan. We want to finish the fight early. I think that Charles also has a plan and that he also wants to finish Islam. I think he also wants to hit his opponent in the face and use his kicks, knees, punches, and elbows. Right? He wants to choke his opponent out, break their bones, etc. That’s the reason we step into the Octagon right? So what is that not arrogance from his side? That he wants to beat Islam Makhachev? Am I right?”
When Nurmagomedov’s father passed away, he stepped into the coach position and walked away from fighting. Makhachev seems to be his star pupil. Many call him the “Next Khabib” and now that he is on the cusp of winning his first UFC title, it seems the comparisons are true. Makhachev has only lost once in his entire professional career and is currently riding a ten-fight winning streak. Nurmagomedov thinks the impressive record of Makhachev could be leading to the trash talk from Oliveira.
“What we’re talking about is true right? So tell me who offended him? Not Ali, not myself, no one insulted him. Definitely not Islam, he has never insulted anyone I don’t see any kind of arrogance here. I simply think he’s starting to feel the pressure of the fight. You know when you’re trying to fight someone, for example, someone like Gaethje, or Chandler or Poireir you know that they have already lost in the past. You can see their pluses and minuses and you can identify the “switch” in their fight that leads them to victory or defeat. So what I believe, and this is solely my point of view, is he may consider this arrogance as well but it doesn’t matter, it appears to me that he looks at Islam and can’t find that “switch” so because of that he gets nervous. He starts to talk about this so-called arrogance and so on but who does this really concern? On October 22 he steps into the cage and we plan on finishing him whether he likes it or not.”
Oliveira is also riding an impressive winning streak. he was won his last 11 fights and although he was stripped of the lightweight belt his last time out, it was not because of a loss, but instead, because he failed to make weight for his championship fight. Unlike Makhachev, Oliveira has lost multiple times since getting to the UFC, that is one stat that Makhachev has been exploiting in the leadup to the fight.
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