Islam Makhachev

Russia

Will fight against Dariush
LightweightUFC
November 27, 2021
Makhachev will take on Beneil Dariush in a lightweight event next February, Brett Okamoto of ESPN.com reports.
ANALYSIS
Makhachev is coming off a win over Dan Hooker earlier this year, and he's now in line to face one of his biggest opponents in Dariush -- though there's no location defined yet for this bout. Makhachev is currently riding a nine-fight winning streak.
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Closing in on title shot after win
LightweightUFC
October 30, 2021
Makhachev defeated Dan Hooker via submission (Kimura) at 2:25 of Round 1 at UFC 267 on Saturday in Abu Dhabi.
ANALYSIS
It's hysterical how good Makhachev is. Hooker is known for his legendary toughness and durability, but Makhachev -- who is arguably the best grappler in MMA today -- popped him with a combination and secured an easy takedown right off the hop. He continued to improve his position on the mat before clamping on the Kimura that ended the fight. Everyone knew Makhachev is great, but this beating of one of the best lightweights on the planet solidifies his position even further. Islam has now won nine fights in a row. He is, at most, one more big win away from fighting for UFC gold. When he finally does get his shot, it's reasonable to think Makhachev will be favored over whoever the champion is. He is that good.
New opponent for UFC 267
LightweightUFC
October 11, 2021
Makhachev has agreed to face Dan Hooker in a lightweight matchup at UFC 267 on Oct. 30 in Abu Dhabi, Brett Okamoto of ESPN reports.
ANALYSIS
Makhachev recently brought his UFC winning streak to eight with a main-event submission over Thiago Moises in July. He was then set to face Rafael dos Anjos at UFC 267, but the bout fell apart, apparently due to an RDA injury. Still wishing to keep his momentum going, Makhachev accepted a fight with Hooker, who looked impressive in a Sept. 25 victory over Nasrat Haqparest. The key for Makhachev to extend his winning streak will be getting this fight to the mat, though Hooker does sport an impressive 80 percent takedown defense. It will be Hookers advantage for as long as things are standing, as Makhachev connects on less than half the number of significant strikes Hooker lands per minute. Still, oddsmakers peg Makhachev as a heavy betting favorite, listing him as approximately (-500) with the fight less than three weeks away.
Fight at UFC 267 called off
LightweightUFC
September 26, 2021
Makhachev's fight against Rafael dos Anjos has been called off, MMAJunkie.com reports.
ANALYSIS
This fight has been in the works for awhile, but fallen apart a few times now. Apparently dos Anjos sustained an injury and will be unable to go. There are reportedly a couple of options the UFC is considering to try and fill the fight with at UFC 267 on Oct. 30.
Fight with Dos Anjos up next
LightweightUFC
August 3, 2021
Makhachev (20-1-0) is scheduled to face Rafael dos Anjos (31-13-0) in a lightweight bout Oct. 30 at UFC 267 in Abu Dhabi, Damon Martin of MMAFighting.com reports.
ANALYSIS
The 29-year-old Russian will look to build on his eight-fight win streak in Abu Dhabi, where he'll be taking on a relative newcomer to the division in dos Anjos, who defeated Paul Felder in five rounds last November in his first lightweight appearance since 2016. Coming off a thrilling submission win over Thiago Santos in July, Makhachev is one of the buzzier names in the UFC at the moment, and his addition to the UFC 267 card will further bolster an event that already includes a pair of title bouts (Jan Blachowicz-Glover Teixeira and Aljamain Sterling-Petr Yan).
Stock continues to rise
LightweightUFC
July 17, 2021
Makhachev defeated Thiago Moises via submission (rear-naked choke) at 2:38 of Round 4 at UFC on ESPN 26 on Saturday in Las Vegas.
ANALYSIS
In case you haven't figure it out by now, it's going to take a Herculean effort to hang with Makhachev at 155 pounds, let alone beat him. This was a fairly even contest in the early going before Islam eventually blew the doors of Moises. With teammate and coach Khabib Nurmagomedov officially retired, there's a case to be made that Makhachev's wrestling game is the most feared in the sport today. He doesn't just get guys to the mat, he does it with authority. He sticks to his opposition like glue and gives them no time to get back to their feet. The vast majority of Makhachev's offense comes from top position and rarely gets hits in return as a result. Makhachev has won eight fights in a row since a fluky KO loss to Adriano Martins back in October 2015. He asked for a bout with Rafael dos Anjos in his post-fight interview. It's a reasonable request and one that would appear to be a realistic possibility. Makhachev would be favored if that fight does indeed come to fruition. In fact, he's going to be favored against most any opponent he faces next. Makhachev is legit. Begin the push to the top.