Sean O’Malley doesn’t see what all of the fuss is about when it comes to Islam Makhachev.
O’Malley admittedly hasn’t watched many of Makhachev’s fights but thinks the No. 4-ranked lightweight and future UFC title challenger is overhyped due to his relationship with former champion Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Makhachev trains under Nurmagomedov at American Kickboxing Academy (AKA) and has received a ton of hype based on several factors but mainly his similarities to Khabib.
The Dagestani native is on a ten-fight winning streak, taking down and dominating most of his opponents at will, but ‘Suga’ thinks the comparisons to Nurmagomedov are unfounded based on what he has seen from Makhachev in the Octagon so far.
O’Malley will compete on the same card as Makhachev at UFC 280 and believes underdog Charles Oliveira will defeat the latter via stoppage in the main event.
“I see Charles [Oliveira] marching out there with that high front knee doing his thing,” O’Malley, who takes on Petr Yan at UFC 280, told Helen Yee in a recent interview (h/t Sportskeeda). “Honestly, I haven’t watched a ton of Islam, more of a little bit of his recent stuff, but it’s crazy how hyped-up he is, literally because Khabib says how good he is. Obviously he’s went out there and performed really well in his last couple of fights too, but we’re so excited about this guy... We’re not super hyped because of all the crazy performances he’s had, it’s more so just because Khabib thinks this guy’s the best in the world. I would love to see Charles go out there and get the job done.”
UFC 280: Oliveira vs. Makhachev takes place next month, Oct. 22, at the Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.