Former UFC heavyweight and light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier is all praise for top lightweight contender from Dagestan, Islam Makhachev.
Boasting a professional record of 18-1 and a UFC record of 7-1, Islam Makhachev trains out of the American Kickboxing Academy and is also Cormier’s teammate. With current UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov retiring from the sport, it is expected that Islam will take charge of the division from the AKA.
Islam Makhachev a future lightweight champion?
In an interview with SCMP, Daniel Cormier was all praise for Islam Makhachev and stated that the 29-year old Dagestani could become the lightweight champion in near future.
When the topic of Khabib Nurmagomedov possibly relinquishing the #UFC lightweight title came up, Daniel Cormier (@dc_mma) mentioned some of the frontrunners would be @CharlesDoBronxs & @MAKHACHEVMMA as well as others.
— South China Morning Post MMA (@scmpmma) January 3, 2021
“I mean, come on man, I’m a homer. Islam Makhachev. I truly do, but not only because he’s one of my friends and teammates, but I really believe that Islam Makhachev is as talented as anyone in the world. And he does have the fighting style to present a lot of problems for people,” Cormier said.
“I think that because of the way he came into the UFC and he had that loss to Adriano Martins way back in the day in his second UFC fight (at UFC 192: Cormier vs. Gustafsson), and he doesn’t really jump off the page as much as Khabib does. Like his style doesn’t seem as aggressive, but trust me, he has all the abilities. And in his standup, he’s very, very well rounded and very skilled in that area of mixed martial arts. As you guys saw earlier in Khabib’s career, he struggled there, he wasn’t polished. He’s much more polished today. Islam is there already and ready to truly make a run at the top of the division.” (H/T – BJPenn.com)
With that being said, Islam Makhachev has to put in a lot of effort if he wants to become a lightweight champion as he is currently ranked #13 and is coming off of a win over Davi Ramos at UFC 242 which took place back in September of 2019 at Abu Dhabi.
He was scheduled to fight at UFC Vegas 14 last month against Rafael Dos Anjos, but he had to pull out of the fight because of undisclosed reason.
He is currently on a six-fight winning streak having beaten the likes of Kajan Johnson, Nik Lentz, Chris Wade etc.
Do you guys agree with Daniel Cormier? Can Islam become the UFC lightweight champion?