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Manager says Islam Makhachev is ‘a better version’ of Khabib Nurmagomedov

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“I think he’s going to be one of the greatest fighters ever. I think he’s a better version of Khabib.”

UFC Fight Night: Makhachev v Moises
Islam Makhachev celebrates following his submission victory over Thiago Moises at UFC on ESPN 26.
Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

Streaking UFC lightweight Islam Makhachev is being hyped up by his manager as a ‘better version’ of Khabib Nurmagomedov ahead of his upcoming lightweight clash against Dan Hooker at UFC 267.

Ali Abdelaziz, who manages both Khabib and Makhachev, doesn’t think the latter is quite there just yet but firmly believes Makhachev is the future of the lightweight division.

“I think he’s going to be one of the greatest fighters ever,” Abdelaziz said of Makhachev during a recent interview with TMZ Sports (h/t “I think he’s a better version of Khabib. I truly believe he is. He’s not now, but he can be, and I think he’s a future world champion, for sure.”

Makhachev shares many similarities with Nurmagomedov, with both fighters growing up and training Sambo together in the mountains of Dagestan.

Unlike Khabib, however, Makhachev (20-1 MMA, 9-1 UFC) isn’t undefeated. The 30-year-old suffered a lone loss to Brazil’s Adriano Martins in his second fight under the UFC banner in 2015. He will take on No. 6-ranked Hooker at the UFC 267 PPV on Oct. 30 at the Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.