Number-four ranked Islam Makhachev is getting a huge push from the UFC, at least according to his long-time training partner Khabib Nurmagomedov. In a recent virtual sit-down with ESPN’s Marc Raimondi, “The Eagle” revealed a supposed offer to Makhachev, should he finish Beneil Dariush in their agreed-upon February fight.
“UFC told… What interesting, if Islam finish him, they gonna give him, like, double bonus,” Khabib said. “And you know, it’s, like, very interesting. This is just private news, I just wanna share with you and fans because it’s very interesting. UFC really, really want this fight.”
Khabib also had a brief social media exchange with fellow Dominance MMA fighter Justin Gaethje, arguing why Makhachev should get the next title shot. “The Highlight” is already doubtful that those words came from the former champion, but according to Khabib, those words did come from him.
“It was myself. I was writing this. It was not Ali, 100%,” he explained. “Even if it was, like, Ali, Ali never gonna write something like that to Justin Gaethje. I know they have good relationship, like, many years. Maybe, like, seven or eight years. These guys, like, very good friends.
“Of course, I understand Justin very exciting. Justin is, like… he’s a real highlight. But my opinion is my opinion. I think, like, anybody in UFC right now, doesn’t matter, lightweight, light heavyweight, heavyweight, any weight classes… if you have nine win streak, you have to fight for the title.”
Makhachev (21-1) last fought at UFC 267 against Dan Hooker and won via submission inside two and a half minutes of action.