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Islam Makhachev is more dangerous than Khabib, says Daniel Cormier

LockerRoom Team
18 March 2024

The parallels between Islam Makhachev and his mentor, Khabib Nurmagomedov, persist as the two Russian fighters carve out their legacies in the UFC lightweight division. Despite Makhachev's ongoing reign as the current lightweight champion, comparisons to Nurmagomedov, often regarded as one of the greatest fighters of all time, remain inevitable.

Both Makhachev and Nurmagomedov emerged from the renowned American Kickboxing Academy (AKA) gym, alongside other notable fighters like Daniel Cormier. While Nurmagomedov left an indelible mark on the sport with his flawless 29-0 record and unparalleled dominance, Cormier believes Makhachev's skill set presents a unique challenge to his opponents.

Speaking on his YouTube channel, Cormier highlighted Makhachev's prowess, particularly in his ground game, suggesting that Makhachev's superior striking abilities make him even more formidable than Nurmagomedov in his prime.

"When he gets you on the ground, I feel he is even more dangerous than Khabib was during his prime," Cormier remarked.

In terms of title defenses, Makhachev is on the cusp of matching Nurmagomedov's record of three successful defenses, with his first two defenses coming against former featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski last year.

With contenders like Justin Gaethje, Charles Oliveira, and Arman Tsarukyan tied up with matchups at UFC 300 next month, Makhachev's next challenger remains uncertain. However, after Dustin Poirier's recent victory at UFC 299, Cormier sees Poirier as a viable option for Makhachev's next title defense.

Cormier emphasized the significance of a potential Makhachev vs. Poirier matchup, drawing parallels to past instances where rising stars have cemented their status by defeating established veterans.

"It feels like it makes the most sense because it feels like this is the way to help and further make Islam Makhachev a star," Cormier explained.

ALSO READ | Islam Makhachev Criticizes Michael Chandler for waiting for Conor McGregor

As discussions surrounding Makhachev's legacy continue to unfold, the comparisons to Nurmagomedov serve as a testament to the enduring impact of both fighters on the UFC lightweight division.

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