Without a doubt, Khabib Nurmagomedov and Islam Makhachev are among the most dominant lightweight fighters in the UFC’s history. This is quite impressive, considering the 155 lb division has housed some of the greatest talents in the promotion.
However, despite the intense competition, the two individuals from Dagestan have utilized their advanced ground skills to secure the division’s top prize, defeating previous champions such as Conor McGregor and Charles Oliveira on their individual paths to victory. Throughout this journey, the two have stood united, not only training together but also supporting each other in their fights. It is clear that the two have a strong bond, but are they actually related?
Do Khabib Nurmagomedov and Islam Makhachev share a familial relationship?
Although their close bond may imply otherwise, Islam Makhachev and Khabib Nurmagomedov are not actually related. These two Dagestanis have been training together since their youth and are now teammates. As the elder of the two, Nurmagomedov has served as a mentor to Makhachev in his athletic pursuits, which encompass two different combat sports.
Prior to their move to MMA, the pair was involved in combat sambo, a demanding combat sport. Despite the intense nature of this martial art, they both achieved world champion status. Their mastery of sambo is also evident in their Octagon performances, as they use it to overpower their opponents and showcase their superior grappling skills.
Dana White, while criticizing Oscar de la Hoya for being a hypocrite, praises Canelo Alvarez as one of the most respectable individuals in the world.
While pursuing their Sambo careers, the two men trained in tandem and maintained their partnership when they relocated to the United States to train in MMA at the American Kickboxing Academy. In numerous UFC matches, they served as each other’s cornermen. After achieving a 29-0 record, Khabib retired from MMA, but he remains a mentor to his teammate Makhachev as he strives to carry on his legacy.
for the past few years, with McGregor becoming the first fighter in the promotion’s history to hold titles in two weight classes
In recent years, these two individuals have been the dominant forces in the UFC’s lightweight category. McGregor stands out as the first athlete to ever hold championship titles in two different weight divisions within the promotion.
In 2012, Khabib Nurmagomedov made his first appearance in the UFC and is now considered one of the top figures in the sport. During his time with the promotion, he maintained an undefeated record and defeated notable opponents such as Conor McGregor, Dustin Poirier, and Rafael dos Anjos. Similarly, Makhachev has also displayed a high level of dominance in the UFC, winning all but one of his fights. With guidance from his teammate, Makhachev also became the UFC lightweight champion in 2022.
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The CEO of Eagle FC, owned by Khabib, Rizvan Magomedov, claims that the UFC purposely delayed Makhachev’s journey to success. According to Magomedov, the UFC was aware that if Islam reached the top of the division, he would likely avoid fighting Nurmagomedov. Therefore, Dana White’s company deliberately avoided giving Makhachev significant fights. However, the 31-year-old is now a champion and preparing for a matchup against Charles Oliveira at UFC 294.
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