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Islam Makhachev can beat Dricus Du Plessis says Belal Muhammad

LockerRoom Team
02 June 2024

Belal Muhammad gears up for his championship opportunity at UFC 304 and his preparation has prominently featured training alongside Islam Makhachev and his team. Makhachev, the UFC lightweight champion, is preparing for his bout against Dustin Poirier on Saturday.

Over recent years, Muhammad and Makhachev have established a strong training partnership. Alongside Makhachev, Muhammad has also trained with Bellator champion Usman Nurmagomedov and former UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, who continues to provide guidance despite stepping back from full-time coaching.

Muhammad considers his training with Makhachev, Khabib, and their team to be crucial as he gets ready to challenge Leon Edwards for the UFC title in July.

“I’m training with the best in MMA,” Muhammad told MMA Fighting. “Khabib is like the Michael Jordan of this sport, and Islam is comparable to Kobe Bryant or LeBron James. Their expertise and the experience they offer are invaluable."

Muhammad praises Khabib’s exceptional analytical skills and the profound impact his guidance has on training. “Khabib’s ability to break down opponents is unmatched. One day of training with him feels like fifty days with anyone else. His insights and tips are game-changing. Training with these guys is a privilege. Every time I reflect on it, I feel incredibly fortunate to be learning from them.”

While Makhachev is focused on defending his lightweight title against Poirier at UFC 302, he has also shown interest in becoming a two-division UFC champion. There was even speculation about Makhachev facing Edwards in a champion versus champion bout for UFC 300.

Muhammad believes Makhachev has the capability to become a two-division champion but is adamant that he would never fight him. “I would never fight Islam,” Muhammad stated. “But I truly believe he could move up to 185 and defeat [Dricus] du Plessis. He has the skills to become a two-division champion. He should bypass 170 for now and allow me to compete with some of the younger fighters, then I’ll consider moving up to 185.”

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