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Islam Ramazanovich Makhachev, born on October 27, 1991, is a Russian professional mixed martial artist and former Sambo competitor. Currently competing in the Lightweight division of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), Makhachev holds the title of UFC Lightweight Champion. With a professional career that began in 2010, Makhachev became combat sambo world champion in the 74-kilogram weight category in 2016. As of March 7, 2023, he is #3 in the UFC men’s pound-for-pound rankings.
Hailing from the ethnic Lak group, Makhachev was born in Makhachkala and raised in the remote village of Burshi in Dagestan, Russia. In this village, he honed his skills and competed in combat sambo.
Makhachev was initially set to face Drew Dober at UFC on Fox 19 on April 16, 2016. However, after failing an out-of-competition drug screening and testing positive for the banned substance meldonium, the match was canceled. USADA later lifted Makhachev’s suspension after a hearing on July 2, 2016.
On January 20, 2018, Makhachev fought Gleison Tibau at UFC 220 and secured a victory by knockout in just 57 seconds in the first round.
Another notable fight occurred on July 28, 2018, at UFC on Fox 30, where Makhachev faced Kajan Johnson. In the first round, Makhachev took Johnson down and ultimately secured a submission victory with an armbar.
Makhachev was originally scheduled to fight Beneil Dariush at UFC Fight Night 202 on February 26, 2022. However, Dariush withdrew from the event due to an ankle injury, and Bobby Green replaced him. Makhachev won the bout via ground and pound TKO in the first round.
Moving on to Makhachev’s championship journey, he faced Charles Oliveira for the vacant UFC Lightweight Championship at UFC 280 on October 22, 2022. In the second round, Makhachev claimed victory and the title by securing an arm-triangle choke after knocking down Oliveira with a punch. This impressive performance earned him the coveted “Performance of the Night” bonus.
In recognition of his achievements in martial arts, Makhachev was awarded the Order “For Merit to the Republic of Dagestan” in November 2022.
Makhachev defended his title against UFC Featherweight Champion Alexander Volkanovski at UFC 284 on February 12, 2023. He emerged victorious, winning unanimously in a thrilling fight that earned him the “Fight of the Night” award.
Looking ahead, Makhachev is scheduled to make his second title defense in a highly anticipated rematch against Charles Oliveira at UFC 294 on October 21, 2023.
Indeed, Makhachev is a married man. The Dagestani fighter tied the knot in 2021. On April 8, 2021, the fighter and his spouse celebrated their union, as reported by various sources online. Numerous videos capturing the essence of the fighter’s wedding were shared on YouTube. However, the identity of his wife remains undisclosed.
The MMA community has been confused about the relationship between Khabib Nurmagomedov’s father, Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov, and Islam Makhachev. While Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov is indeed a father figure to Islam Makhachev, he is not his biological father. The true identity of Islam Makhachev’s biological father remains unknown.
All Islam Makhachev fight tickets can be purchased from the official UFC website.
Islam Makhachev stands out among UFC fighters as one of the rare individuals without any tattoos adorning his body.
Makhachev hails from Makhachkala and spent his formative years in the secluded village of Burshi, which was previously located in the Dagestan ASSR of the Soviet Union and is now situated in the Republic of Dagestan, Russia.
Islam Makhachev arrived in Australia and had the opportunity to spend a day at Rottnest Island near Perth, just a few days before his title defense at UFC 284. The UFC lightweight champion explored the island with his teammates, enjoying activities like swimming, scenic bike rides, and observing the local wildlife. However, it is unfortunate that they recorded videos of themselves feeding quokkas, which is illegal in Western Australia.
Feeding quokkas is discouraged as they tend to eat anything before them, and human food, especially processed products, can pose serious health risks to them. Moreover, it is prohibited to make physical contact with them. These naturally aggressive creatures have been known to bite tourists, usually when attempting to steal food. Violating the law can lead to criminal prosecution and fines of up to A$10,000 (£5,500, $7,500).
In the most recent UFC’s Embedded Vlog series episode, Islam Makhachev was also caught on video feeding a quokka. While it is unclear if Makhachev will face any penalties for this action, the incident does not hinder his participation in the upcoming competition.
Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov acts as his primary coach, receiving additional training from Javier Mendez. Furthermore, Khabib Nurmagomedov, his training partner for a long time, also contributed to his development.
Islam is competing in the UFC Lightweight division.
He is currently signed to the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).
UFC 284: Islam Makhachev retains title with controversial win over Alexander Volkanovski
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