UFC

Nobody can stay on top forever: Khabib predicts future of Islam Makhachev

Islam Makhachev, his top student and the current UFC lightweight champion, is about to make history, according to Khabib Nurmagomedov.

This past October, Makhachev's debut title match went as smoothly as it possibly could have. In round two, Makhachev caused Charles Oliveira, the former divisional champion and UFC record holder for submissions, to submit via a close arm triangle choke.

Alexander Volkanovski, the current featherweight champion, will be Makhachev's opponent in his inaugural fight as the new lightweight champion. On February 11 in Perth, Australia, the two will square up for pound-for-pound dominance, and Nurmagomedov thinks Makhachev will use it as the beginning of an epic but brief reign at the top.

“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,” Khabib said.

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At lightweight, Nurmagomedov is presently tied for the most successful championship defences with three victories over B.J. Penn, Frankie Edgar, and Benson Henderson. The 31-year-old Makhachev has had a nearly perfect career, suffering just one defeat in 24 matches and suffering little octagon damage.

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Many people in the neighbourhood anticipate that it may very well be "the Makhachev era" for whatever long he deems appropriate.

What do you think of the prediction from Khabib? Let us know in the comments below.