Islam Makhachev was not promoted by the UFC because of this Khabib Nurmagomedov reason

Islam Makhachev is set to fight at UFC 254
Islam Makhachev celebrates his first round knockout against Gleison Tibau in their Lightweight fight during UFC 220 at TD Garden on January 20, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Mike Lawrie/Getty Images)

MMA manager says Khabib Nurmagomedov was the reason behind UFC not promoting Islam Makhachev enough

Khabib Nurmagomedov retired officially from the UFC last month. The lightweight champion vacated his title and called it quits after months of speculations.

His last fight came in October 2020 at UFC 254 when he beat Justin Gaethje for his third-straight title defence. This took his streak to 29-0, but that was as far as it would go.

Dana White tried everything he could to keep the 32-year-old at UFC, but it was futile. Ever since his retirement, the 155 weight class has really opened up.

Khabib Nurmagomedov was coaching Islam Makhachev at UFC 259.
Khabib Nurmagomedov was in the corner of Islam Makhachev against Drew Dober at UFC 259. (Twitter)

There are 4 names right at the top for the vacant belt. And not just at the top, but there has been movement in the middle and lower sections of the rankings as well.

One name that we have heard a lot of since Khabib’s retirement is that of Islam Makhachev.

Rizvan Magomedov reveals UFC ignored Islam Makhachev for Khabib Nurmagomedov

Coincidence? Not according to MMA manager Rizvan Magomedov. He was talking to RT Sport MMA after Eagle FC 25 and revealed why UFC turned a blind eye to Makhachev at times.

“Well, I’m going to disclose some secrets to you now. The UFC used to not give Islam enough attention because they knew if he made it to the title shot, he wouldn’t fight Khabib. So what if he eliminated all the top contenders and refused to fight Khabib?”

And he went on to reveal why that would be the case. Magomedov thinks that the two Dagestani fighters are brothers, and not just friends as he recalls how they have trained together all their lives.

“They are not just friends, they are brothers. They have been training together for their entire lives. There’s no title in the world that could split them apart.”

Things are different now that Khabib is retired. And if Makhachev is really all that what make people make him out to be, we could see a Russian champion at 155 once again.

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Written by Aniket Rai

An ordinary football fan, doing what he loves.

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