Rafael Dos Anjos has claimed that he has been informed that former UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov will return to UFC to fight him.
“I just heard back from the UFC that Islam accepted to fight me Oct 30, 5 rounds in Abu Dhabi and Khabib agreed to come out of retirement to avenge his brother’s loss after that,” RDA said as he made himself available to take on in-form Makhachev.
The Dagestani star, who is trainer partner, student, and cousin of former UFC lightweight champion Nurmagomedov, is on a nine-fight win streak.
Ever since he lost on his UFC debut in 2015, Islam has been on a winning spree. He submitted Thiago Moses in his last fight and has called out Tony Ferguson and RDA.
Makhachev has climbed to the fifth spot at 155lbs whereas RDA is at No.7.
As far as Nurmagomedov’s return is concerned, his manager Ali Abdelaziz has confirmed time and again that the 29-0 undefeated superstar will not return to action.
Khabib himself has been very vocal about his decision to retire from the sport after submitting Justin Gathje in October 2020.
The former UFC champion affirmed that there will be a lot of talks hinting at his return, but he will never grace the octagon as a fighter ever again. The Russian cited his father’s death for the reason to hang his gloves a year ago.
He now trains his cousins Umar, Zubair, and Islam.
Makhachev has been following Khabib’s footsteps in the UFC so far. He has been dominating opponents with his strong ground and pound, putting away decent fighters.
However, he hasn’t yet fought a top 10 fighter yet. He has been linked with RDA and Beniel Dariush since he beat Thiago Moses last week.
Makhachev also thinks highly of Dariush.
He said: “If they give me Beneil, he’s going to be a good fight. Beneil is a nice guy, I know him a little bit. He’s number three, a big step for me too. He’s tough more than these other guys I call.”
At the post-fight presser, the Russian star again called out Ferguson as well.
“If they gonna give me a choice, let’s do it with Tony,” Makhachev said. “Because we have a good history with him. Khabib was supposed to fight with him five, six times? Let’s finish this, you know? I’m going to finish this. And I’m going to show people around the world Tony, not Khabib level. People don’t understand how Khabib had pressure. I cannot explain to you guys but you know everything.”
Makhachev said that he is eyeing the Fighter of the Year prize. With another win under his belt before the year is finished, Makhachev feels he will end up with the coveted prize.
He did not even spare Mike Chandler.
"Chandler, if you hear me, let's go, let's do this. You come from Bellator, I want to check your skills."@MAKHACHEVMMA calls out @MikeChandlerMMA, who's watching from the #UFCVegas31 post-show set 😬 pic.twitter.com/pAhZ7UOyTI
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) July 18, 2021