Usman Nurmagomedov has full confidence that his friend and training partner Islam Makhachev will be successful this weekend. Makhachev will defend his UFC lightweight title against featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski in the main event of UFC 284 on pay-per-view (PPV).
Nurmagomedov is gearing up to defend his Bellator lightweight title against Benson Henderson at the upcoming Bellator 292 event on March 10. The matchup will be a quarterfinal bout in the Bellator Lightweight Grand Prix.
Usman Nurmagomedov Predicts Islam Makhachev Beats Alexander Volkanovski
Nurmagomedov was recently interviewed by KO Artist Sports and was asked for his prediction between Makhachev and Volkanovski. Nurmagomedov predicts Makhachev will take things slow early, before turning up the pressure in the next few rounds. In the end, he predicts a finish win for Makhachev.
“I think first round, Islam will check him – like watch – moving, something, but I think in the second and third round Islam is going to show him who is real. Give him more pressure, take him down, hold him down, and maybe he’s gonna choke him. Maybe he’s gonna ground-and-pound. But I see Islam is going to win.
“This is 100 percent because I understand – Volkanvoski is a tough guy. He’s number one pound-for-pound, but Islam is different. He’s a beast. I know this guy, believe me, I have had a lot of sparring with him. His fighter IQ is very – he has very good vision for fighting. Everything he does, he first envisions, after he does very good. He’s a beast – another level.”
Nurmagomedov certainly has reason to be confident in Makhachev heading into UFC 284. The UFC lightweight champion is on an 11-fight win streak, including a dominant win over Charles Oliveira to capture the then-vacant title. Now, he has the opportunity to capture the moniker of No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter in the world with a win over Volkanovski.