Islam Makhachev

Russia

Fight with Dos Anjos up next
LightweightUFC
August 3, 2021
Makhachev (20-1-0) is scheduled to face Rafael dos Anjos (31-13-0) in a lightweight bout Oct. 30 at UFC 267 in Abu Dhabi, Damon Martin of MMAFighting.com reports.
ANALYSIS
The 29-year-old Russian will look to build on his eight-fight win streak in Abu Dhabi, where he'll be taking on a relative newcomer to the division in dos Anjos, who defeated Paul Felder in five rounds last November in his first lightweight appearance since 2016. Coming off a thrilling submission win over Thiago Santos in July, Makhachev is one of the buzzier names in the UFC at the moment, and his addition to the UFC 267 card will further bolster an event that already includes a pair of title bouts (Jan Blachowicz-Glover Teixeira and Aljamain Sterling-Petr Yan).
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Stock continues to rise
LightweightUFC
July 17, 2021
Makhachev defeated Thiago Moises via submission (rear-naked choke) at 2:38 of Round 4 at UFC on ESPN 26 on Saturday in Las Vegas.
ANALYSIS
In case you haven't figure it out by now, it's going to take a Herculean effort to hang with Makhachev at 155 pounds, let alone beat him. This was a fairly even contest in the early going before Islam eventually blew the doors of Moises. With teammate and coach Khabib Nurmagomedov officially retired, there's a case to be made that Makhachev's wrestling game is the most feared in the sport today. He doesn't just get guys to the mat, he does it with authority. He sticks to his opposition like glue and gives them no time to get back to their feet. The vast majority of Makhachev's offense comes from top position and rarely gets hits in return as a result. Makhachev has won eight fights in a row since a fluky KO loss to Adriano Martins back in October 2015. He asked for a bout with Rafael dos Anjos in his post-fight interview. It's a reasonable request and one that would appear to be a realistic possibility. Makhachev would be favored if that fight does indeed come to fruition. In fact, he's going to be favored against most any opponent he faces next. Makhachev is legit. Begin the push to the top.
Bumped to main event
LightweightUFC
June 24, 2021
Makhachev's scheduled lightweight matchup against Thiago Moises has been moved to the main event of the UFC event scheduled for July 17, John Morgan of USA Today reports.
ANALYSIS
This was originally scheduled to be a featherweight showdown between Max Holloway and Yair Rodriguez before Holloway was forced to withdraw due to injury. Instead, Makhachev will be faced with the prospect of going five rounds for the first time in his UFC career. Cardio has always been a strongpoint for Makhachev, but it remains to be seen if his relentless, wrestling-based approach will hold up over a full 25 minutes of fight time. He'll be going up against an opponent with just a 63 percent takedown defense, but also one who happens to be a BJJ black belt with six career submission (though only one in the UFC). Early oddsmakers peg Makhachev -- who many say is a future title contender -- as high as a (-450) betting favorite.
To fight Moises on July 17
LightweightUFC
May 12, 2021
Makhachev will fight Thiago Moises at the UFC event on July 17, Marcel Dorff of MMADNA reports.
ANALYSIS
This will be Makhachev's second battle in almost two years, as he returned to the octagon back on March 6 and defeated Drew Dober via submission at UFC 259. On the other hand, Moises will be entering the ring with a right foot injury he suffered during his upset win over Alexander Hernandez via unanimous decision in February.
Cruises in return from long layoff
LightweightUFC
March 6, 2021
Makhachev defeated Drew Dober via submission (arm-triangle) at 1:37 of Round 3 at UFC 259 on Saturday in Las Vegas.
ANALYSIS
Well, that was terrifying. It's truly hysterical how dominant Makhachev was despite having not fought since September 2019. Islam was completely confident he could compete with Dober on the feet, but his advantage in the grappling game was so overwhelming that Makhachev quickly put Dober on his back in each round, and it was academic from there. UFC legend and commentator Daniel Cormier said earlier this week that he believed that in terms of pure wrestling, Makhachev was better than Khabib Nurmagomedov. Now that may be true (it may not), but the fact DC would even think of saying that tells you all you need to know. Makhachev confirmed in his post-fight interview with Joe Rogan that, as expected, COVID-19 was behind his extended stay on the sidelines. The UFC needs to push this guy to the moon ASAP because Makhachev may already be a top-five lightweight, and his ceiling is that of a legitimate title contender at 155 pounds.
Eyeing Dober in March
LightweightUFC
January 5, 2021
Makhachev has agreed to take on Drew Dober in a lightweight matchup at UFC 259 on March 6, Brett Okamoto of ESPN reports.
ANALYSIS
Like most, Makhachev has had a tough 2020, losing scheduled matchups against Alexander Hernandez and Rafael dos Anjos. Presumably recovered from the staph infection that forced him to withdraw from the November matchup against RDA, Makhachev will now shift focus to a fighter in Dober who is riding a three-fight winning streak. Makhachev will enter this fight two inches taller, but both men sport a 70-inch reach. Despite the time off, oddsmakers like Makhachev here, listing him as a (-345) betting favorite as of early-January.