Islam Makhachev


Survives war to retain title
February 11, 2023
Makhachev retained his UFC Lightweight Championship on Saturday, defeating Alexander Volkanovski via unanimous decision (49-46, 48-47, 48-47) at UFC 284 in Perth, Australia.
It was by far the most competitive fight of Makhachev's UFC run and it came against a natural featherweight. Islam ran through Charles Oliveira in less than two rounds in late October, but it took five back-and-forth rounds to get past Volkanovski. As is always the case, Islam's wrestling game was on point. He landed four takedowns on nine attempts, good for 7:37 worth of control time. He kept Alex pinned to the mat for long stretches at a time, but also shockingly allowed his opponent to get back to his feet at times. That says more about how great Volkanovski is than anything Islam did wrong. On the feet, Makhachev started slowly and finished slowly, but he picked up the pace in a major way in the middle rounds. The fact Volkanovski landed 164 total strikes compared to 95 from Makhachev isn't indicative of how this fight played out. Ultimately, it was a close contest between arguably the two best pound-for-pound fighters in the world, but the judges got it correct. It's going to take a Herculean effort for any fighter to take the 155-pound belt off Islam. Volkanovski came closer than any man before him, but it still wasn't enough.
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Defending title against Volkanovski
November 12, 2022
Makhachev will take on Alexander Volkanovski for the lightweight title at UFC 284 in Perth on Feb. 11, Marcel Dorff of reports.
Makhachev conquered the lightweight division by defeating Charles Oliveira by second-round submission in late October. He now has an 11-fight winning streak and hasn't needed to wait for the judges in any of his last five victories. His first title defense won't come against a lightweight but instead against the featherweight champion, who will be fighting in his home country as he looks to secure his second belt.
New UFC Lightweight Champion
October 22, 2022
Makhachev became the new UFC Lightweight Champion on Saturday, defeating Charles Oliveira via submission (arm-triangle choke) at 3:16 of Round 2 at UFC 280 in Abu Dhabi.
Too easy. Facing an opponent that had won 11 fights in a row against some of the best competition in the world, Makhachev dominated the entire way. He popped Oliveira with a couple big shots on the feet early on before getting his wrestling game going. Displaying no fear of Charles' elite submission game from the bottom, Islam landed 2-of-3 takedowns, good for 5:05 worth of control time. He eventually wore the former champion down before clamping on the arm-triangle which ended the fight. It's simply not as easy as Makhachev made it look, and the effort will earn him one of two $50,000 Performance of the Night bonuses awarded on the evening. This is a guy with the talent to hang onto this belt for a long, long time. Islam and current UFC Featherweight Champion Alexander Volkanovski stood nose-to-nose in the cage following Makhachev's post-fight interview, teasing a potential "super fight" between the two. Islam would be a hefty favorite if that comes to pass given the fact he is considerably bigger than Volkanovski.
Title shot set for October
July 16, 2022
Makhachev will face off against Charles Oliveira for the vacant UFC lightweight championship at UFC 280 on Oct. 22, Marcel Dorff of reports.
Makhachev will finally get his long-awaited title shot at UFC 280 in Abu Dhabi after stringing together 10 consecutive victories in the Octagon. The 30-year-old has ascended the lightweight ranks quickly and hasn't lost a fight since October of 2015. He and Oliveira figure to put on a show when they square off for the 155-pound title in October.
Rise continues, title shot next?
February 26, 2022
Makhachev defeated Bobby Green via TKO (punches) at 3:23 of Round 1 at UFC Fight Night on Saturday in Las Vegas.
Makhachev will probably lose a fight eventually, but it's anyone's guess when it will happen, because the guy we saw tonight looks like the best lightweight on the planet today. Green, even at his advanced age, is no pushover, but that didn't stop Islam from throwing him to the mat about two minutes in and finishing Bobby with strikes about a minute after that. Makhachev has sneaky power, an excellent gas tank and is arguably the best wrestler in the sport today. He's won 10 fights in a row and is without a defeat dating back to October 2015. UFC Lightweight Champion Charles Oliveira will make the second defense of his title against Justin Gaethje in May at UFC 274. Makhachev deserves and will likely get the winner of that, and he should be favored regardless of who emerges victorious. He's that good.
Set to face Bobby Green
February 16, 2022
Makhachev agreed to face Bobby Green in a 160-pound catchweight fight for the main event at UFC Fight Night on Feb. 26 in Las Vegas, Brett Okamoto of ESPN reports.
Makhachev appeared to be in danger of falling off the card after scheduled opponent Beneil Dariush (ankle) was forced to withdraw due to an injury, but Green will instead step in on short notice. In addition to the short prep time, Green is also fresh off his last bout, as he beat Nasrat Haqparast via unanimous decision at UFC 271 on Saturday. Makhachev is riding a nine-fight win streak and will be a heavy favorite, while Green has won his past two bouts.