Daniel Cormier, a former two-division UFC champion, has showered praise on UFC lightweight challenger Islam Makhachev. Cormier explained why Makhachev is so feared by the other candidates on the roster by drawing comparisons to Kamaru Usman’s rise in the UFC’s welterweight division.
“Nobody will fight him. Islam [Makhachev] is just gonna smash ’em all. He’ll beat ’em all. I know for a fact, [the fight] was offered to [Paul] Felder, it was offered to RDA, it was offered to a number of guys in that top 10, and these guys won’t fight him.
“I don’t know what more he can do but just to compete, make money, and keep working his way toward the championship. It’s very reminiscent of when Kamaru Usman was coming up.”
Cormier recently claimed that Makhachev is the world’s strongest lightweight.
What makes Makhachev special?
Makhachev, born on September 27th, 1991, grew up in Dagestan, Republic of Russia. Makhachev began competing in sambo at a young age and went on to win gold at the 2016 World Combat Sambo Championship.
Makhachev signed a four-fight contract with the UFC on October 2nd, 2014, bringing a lot of hope to the big stage. Many in the MMA community were surprised when the 29-year-old submitted to fellow welterweight Leo Kuntz during their preliminary card matchup at UFC 187.
With just one defeat in his UFC career, Makhachev appears to be a force to be reckoned with. He is currently on a seven-fight winning streak, with his most recent victory coming at UFC 259. At UFC 192, he was defeated by Adriano Martins via TKO.
As Cormier correctly said, Makhachev is a feared opponent whose performances often ring a bell about Usman’s rise in the UFC. Usman has never lost in his UFC career and has repeatedly pressured quality opponents to back down.
With the UFC lightweight belt now wrapped around Charles Oliveira’s waist, the number of hungry contenders appears to be on the rise.
Makhachev, on the other hand, seems to be facing a serious lack of opponents in the division. After being turned down by notable fighters in the same weight class, the Dagestani has instilled fear in the minds of his opponents.
Who do you think will face Islam Makhachev in the future? Please share your thoughts and views with us in the comments section below!