Khabib Nurmagomedov Predicts How Many Times Islam Makhachev Will Defend The UFC Lightweight Title

Khabib Nurmagomedov Has High Expectations For Islam Makhachev's UFC Lightweight Title Reign.

Khabib Nurmagomedov
Khabib Nurmagomedov (Left) and Nurmagomedov carrying Islam Makhachev (Right)(Images via Instagram @Khabib_Nurmagomedov)

Khabib Nurmagomedov believes Islam Makhachev will defend the UFC lightweight title at least five or six times. 

Makhachev validated his world championship potential by defeating Charles Oliveira at UFC 280. Nurmagomedov, his longtime training partner and friend, has contributed significantly to the current lightweight champion’s success. ‘The Eagle’ was doing an interview with Red Corner MMA and had this to say about Makhachev defending the title:

“I think he needs at least five. Maybe six. That would be ideal. Six defenses, that’s six fights and three years. Then it’s possible that the sport leaves him because nobody can stay on top forever. The way the almighty created a man, he first becomes strong then weak. He’s young then he’s old. Knowing that, the goal is five-six defenses.”

Makhachev’s first title defence will be against Alexander Volkanovski at UFC 284. The Russian world champion has plans to stay active and proved so by accepting a title fight only fourth months after UFC 280. It’ll be intriguing to see if he can defend the title at least five times, as Nurmagomedov predicted. 

Watch Khabib Nurmagomedov’s interview with Red Corner MMA below:

Khabib Nurmagomedov discusses his team’s destruction of lightweight divisions worldwide

The influence of Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov, Khabib’s father, who passed away in 2020, has created a generation of Russian world champions. Islam Makhachev conquered the UFC lightweight division after ‘The Eagle’ retired, and Usman Nurmagomedov recently became the Bellator lightweight champion. 

During the same interview with Red Corner MMA, Nurmagomedov, the former UFC lightweight champion, had this to say:

“My father always said this. We had the best lightweights in Russia for 15 years pro and amateur. In the last few years, we stepped on the world stage. First I won then Islam then Usman. Now they’ll defend their titles. They have some serious competition. We’ll hold on to these belts for five-six years.”

The Nurmagomedov team could have another lightweight world champion soon. Saygid Izagakhmaev is currently the number three ranked lightweight in ONE Championship, with potential to win the title next year. If Izagakhmaev wins the ONE title, Nurmagomedov’s team will have conquered the lightweight world championship in three premier MMA promotions.

Published on December 13, 2022 at 10:43 pm
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