Islam Makhachev

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Islam Makhachev
Makhachev in 2022
BornIslam Ramazanovich Makhachev[1]
(1991-10-27) 27 October 1991 (age 32)[2]
Makhachkala, Dagestan ASSR, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union
Native nameИслам Махачев
Height5 ft 10 in (178 cm)
Weight155 lb (70 kg; 11 st 1 lb)
DivisionLightweight
Reach70 in (178 cm)[3]
StyleCombat sambo
Fighting out ofMakhachkala, Dagestan, Russia
TeamAmerican Kickboxing Academy
Fight Spirit Team
Gadzhi Makhachev freestyle wrestling club
Old School Fighters
KHK MMA Team
Eagles MMA
TrainerAbdulmanap Nurmagomedov (former)[4]
Javier Mendez[5]
Khabib Nurmagomedov[6]
RankInternational Master of Sport in Combat Sambo[7]
Years active2010–present
Mixed martial arts record
Total26
Wins25
By knockout5
By submission11
By decision9
Losses1
By knockout1
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog
Medal record
Representing  Russia
Combat sambo
World Championships (FIAS)
Gold medal – first place 2016 Sofia -74 kg
Russian Championship
Gold medal – first place 2014 Ulan-Ude -74 kg
Gold medal – first place 2016 Petrozavodsk -74 kg

Islam Ramazanovich Makhachev[1] (Russian: Ислам Рамазанович Махачев;[1] born 27 October 1991) is a Russian professional mixed martial artist and former sambo competitor. He currently competes in the Lightweight division in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), where he is the current UFC Lightweight Champion.[8] Makhachev has competed professionally since 2010, along with becoming a combat sambo world champion in 2016 and two-time Russian national champion at 74 kg (2014, 2016). As of 7 November 2023, he is #1 in the UFC men's pound-for-pound rankings.[9]

Background

An ethnic Lak,[1] Makhachev was born in Makhachkala and grew up in the remote village of Burshi (then part of Dagestan ASSR, Soviet Union, now part of the Republic of Dagestan, Russia).[10][11] Makhachev's father grew tomatoes and worked as a driver, his mother was a house wife and ran a small cafe, and he also has an older brother named Kurbanismail. Starting at age 7, he began practicing taekwondo under decorated champion Seyfula Magomedov.[12] Makhachev switched to sanda while attending school with Abubakar Nurmagomedov, where he also met Khabib Nurmagomedov, Shamil Zavurov, and their family. However, he gave up combat sports and played soccer for two years after his family moved to a different town. Makhachev engaged in constant street fights as a child due to the culture of the region; it is common for adults (such as his coach Magomedov) to pick boys to face each other or for the boys to confront each other. He trained in freestyle wrestling for a year but switched to mixed martial arts under Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov after learning that Khabib was already a professional. Makhachev had been a UFC fan since childhood, his favorite fighters were Tank Abbott and Ken Shamrock. While training, he attended Dagestan State University to study physical education and sports. In order to support himself, Makhachev worked as a security guard. His boss would let him train during work hours and paid his salary while Makhachev was away for competitions and training camps.[12][13][14][15]

In February 2014, Makhachev won the -74 kg division at the Russian National Combat Sambo Championship, qualifying for the world championship in Japan.[16] He was unable to compete at the 2014 world championships due to the discovery of a heart condition that required treatment.[14][15] Makhachev won the -74 kg division again at the 2016 national championship, qualifying for the world championship.[17] He then won gold at the 2016 World Combat Sambo Championship. In the finals, Makhachev beat Valentin Benishev of Bulgaria (7-0).[18]

Mixed martial arts career

M-1 Global

Makhachev made his M-1 Global debut against Tengiz Khuchua on 12 February 2011 and won the fight via KO in the first round.[19]

In his second fight for the promotion, Makhachev faced Mansour Barnaoui, on 9 April 2013 at M-1 Challenge 38. He won via unanimous decision a (30–27, 30–27, 30–27).[20]

Makhachev faced then-undefeated Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt[21] Rander Junio on 21 August 2013 at M-1 Challenge 41. He won via unanimous decision.[22]

Makhachev faced M-1 Global Yuri Ivlev on 7 June 2014 at M-1 Challenge 49. Islam dominated the fight, he softened up Ivlev with punches before finishing the fight by submission via armbar.[23]

On 7 September 2014, in his final bout for M-1 Global before signing with the UFC, Makhachev defeated Ivica Truscek via submission in the third round.[24]

Ultimate Fighting Championship

Makhachev in 2016

On 2 October 2014, Makhachev signed a four-fight contract with the UFC.[25] He submitted Leo Kuntz in the second round on 23 May 2015, at UFC 187.[26]

Makhachev faced Adriano Martins on 3 October 2015 at UFC 192.[27] He lost via knockout in the first round, marking his first and only professional loss to date.[28]

Makhachev was expected to face Drew Dober on 16 April 2016, at UFC on Fox 19.[29] After the weigh-ins, the UFC announced that the bout was cancelled after Makhachev failed an out-of-competition drug screening, testing positive for the banned anti-ischemic meldonium.[30] USADA lifted Makhachev's suspension after a hearing on 2 July 2016 determined that the drug was prescribed in November 2015 to recover from a medical procedure to his heart.[31][32]

On 17 September 2016, he faced with Chris Wade at UFC Fight Night 94.[33] He won the fight via unanimous decision.[34]

Makhachev faced Nik Lentz on 11 February 2017, at UFC 208.[35] He won the fight by unanimous decision (30–27, 30–25, 30–25).[36]

Makhachev was expected to face Michel Prazeres on 2 September 2017 at UFC Fight Night 115.[37] However, Makhachev pulled out of the fight in the beginning of August citing a religious reason, and he was replaced by Mads Burnell.[38]

Makhachev fought Gleison Tibau on 20 January 2018 at UFC 220.[39] He won the fight by knockout in 57 seconds in the first round.[40]

Makhachev faced Kajan Johnson on 28 July 2018 at UFC on Fox 30.[41] Makhachev took Johnson down in the first round, where he worked to mount and secured the armbar, forcing Johnson to tap; giving Makhachev a submission victory.[42]

Makhachev was expected to face Francisco Trinaldo on 26 January 2019 at UFC 233.[43] However, it was reported on 11 November 2018 Makhachev was pulled out from the event due to undisclosed reason and he was replaced by Alexander Hernandez.[44]

Makhachev faced Arman Tsarukyan on 20 April 2019 at UFC on ESPN+ 7.[45][46] He won the fight via unanimous decision.[47] This win earned him the Fight of the Night award.[48]

Makhachev faced Davi Ramos on 7 September 2019 at UFC 242.[49] He won the fight via unanimous decision.[50]

Makhachev was scheduled to face Alexander Hernandez on 18 April 2020 at UFC 249.[51] However, Makhachev was removed from the card due to travel restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic and he was replaced by Omar Morales.[52]

Makhachev was expected to face Rafael dos Anjos on 24 October 2020 at UFC 254.[53] However, on 8 October 2020 it was reported that dos Anjos tested positive for COVID-19 and he was removed from the bout.[54] The pairing was left intact and rescheduled for 14 November 2020 at UFC Fight Night: Felder vs. dos Anjos.[55] However, on 8 November, it was reported that Makhachev was forced to pull from the event due to staph infection.[56][57]

Makhachev faced Drew Dober on 6 March 2021 at UFC 259.[58] He won the fight by an arm-triangle choke submission in the third round.[59]

Makhachev faced Thiago Moisés on 17 July 2021 at UFC on ESPN 26.[60] He won the fight by a rear-naked choke submission in the fourth round.[61]

A bout with former UFC Lightweight Champion Rafael dos Anjos was rescheduled and was expected to take place on 30 October 2021 at UFC 267.[62] However, dos Anjos was forced to pulled from the event due to injury,[63] and he was replaced by Dan Hooker.[64] He won the fight by a kimura submission in the first round.[65]

Makhachev was scheduled to face Beneil Dariush on 26 February 2022 at UFC Fight Night 202.[66] However, on 12 February 2022 it was reported that Dariush withdrew from the event due to an ankle injury[67] and he was replaced by Bobby Green.[68] He won the bout via ground and pound TKO in the first round.[69]

UFC Lightweight Champion

Oliveira vs. Makhachev

Makhachev faced Charles Oliveira for the vacant UFC Lightweight Championship at UFC 280 on 22 October 2022.[70] Makhachev won the bout and the title in the second round via arm-triangle choke after knocking down Oliveira with a punch.[71] With this win, he received the Performance of the Night bonus.[72]

In November 2022, Makhachev was awarded Order "For Merit to the Republic of Dagestan" for his achievement in martial arts.[73]

Makhachev vs. Volkanovski

Makhachev defended his title against the UFC Featherweight Champion Alexander Volkanovski on 12 February 2023 at UFC 284.[74] Makhachev won via unanimous decision.[75] This fight earned him the Fight of the Night award.[76] After his victory, Makhachev and his coach Muslim Amiraslanov were both awarded the Sali Suleiman medal, the Dagestan Ministry of Sports' highest award, named after a famous wrestler.[77][78]

Makhachev vs. Volkanovski 2

Makhachev was scheduled to make his second title defense in a rematch against Charles Oliveira on 21 October 2023, at UFC 294.[79] However, Oliveira was forced off from the event due to injuries and he was replaced by Alexander Volkanovski.[80] He won the fight by head kick knockout in the first round.[81] This fight earned him the Performance of the Night award.[82]

Makhachev vs. Poirier

Makhachev is scheduled to defend his title against former interim lightweight champion Dustin Poirier at UFC 302 on June 1, 2024.[83]

Championships and accomplishments

Mixed martial arts

Sambo

  • Fédération Internationale Amateur de Sambo (FIAS)
    • 2016 FIAS World Combat Sambo Championships Gold Medalist
  • Combat Sambo Federation of Russia
    • Russian National Gold Medalist (2014, 2016 at -74 kg)[16][17]

Grappling

  • UWW Russian Grappling Federation
    • North Caucasian Federal District Gold Medalist

Mixed martial arts record

Professional record breakdown
26 matches 25 wins 1 loss
By knockout 5 1
By submission 11 0
By decision 9 0
Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Win 25–1 Alexander Volkanovski KO (head kick and punches) UFC 294 21 October 2023 1 3:06 Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates Defended the UFC Lightweight Championship. Performance of the Night.
Win 24–1 Alexander Volkanovski Decision (unanimous) UFC 284 12 February 2023 5 5:00 Perth, Australia Defended the UFC Lightweight Championship. Fight of the Night. Fight of the Year (2023).
Win 23–1 Charles Oliveira Submission (arm-triangle choke) UFC 280 22 October 2022 2 3:16 Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates Won the vacant UFC Lightweight Championship. Performance of the Night.
Win 22–1 Bobby Green TKO (punches) UFC Fight Night: Makhachev vs. Green 26 February 2022 1 3:23 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Catchweight (160 lb) bout.
Win 21–1 Dan Hooker Submission (kimura) UFC 267 30 October 2021 1 2:25 Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Win 20–1 Thiago Moisés Submission (rear-naked choke) UFC on ESPN: Makhachev vs. Moisés 17 July 2021 4 2:38 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 19–1 Drew Dober Submission (arm-triangle choke) UFC 259 6 March 2021 3 1:37 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 18–1 Davi Ramos Decision (unanimous) UFC 242 7 September 2019 3 5:00 Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Win 17–1 Arman Tsarukyan Decision (unanimous) UFC Fight Night: Overeem vs. Oleinik 20 April 2019 3 5:00 Saint Petersburg, Russia Fight of the Night.
Win 16–1 Kajan Johnson Submission (armbar) UFC on Fox: Alvarez vs. Poirier 2 28 July 2018 1 4:43 Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Win 15–1 Gleison Tibau KO (punch) UFC 220 20 January 2018 1 0:57 Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Win 14–1 Nik Lentz Decision (unanimous) UFC 208 11 February 2017 3 5:00 Brooklyn, New York, United States
Win 13–1 Chris Wade Decision (unanimous) UFC Fight Night: Poirier vs. Johnson 17 September 2016 3 5:00 Hidalgo, Texas, United States
Loss 12–1 Adriano Martins KO (punch) UFC 192 3 October 2015 1 1:46 Houston, Texas, United States
Win 12–0 Leo Kuntz Submission (rear-naked choke) UFC 187 23 May 2015 2 2:38 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 11–0 Ivica Trušček Submission (inverted triangle choke) M-1 Challenge 51 7 September 2014 3 4:45 Saint Petersburg, Russia Catchweight (165 lb) bout.
Win 10–0 Yuri Ivlev Submission (armbar) M-1 Challenge 49 7 June 2014 1 1:49 Ingushetia, Russia
Win 9–0 Rander Junio Decision (unanimous) M-1 Challenge 41 21 August 2013 3 5:00 Saint Petersburg, Russia
Win 8–0 Mansour Barnaoui Decision (unanimous) M-1 Challenge 38 9 April 2013 3 5:00 Saint Petersburg, Russia
Win 7–0 Anatoly Kormilkin Submission (armbar) Lion's Fights 2 2 September 2012 1 3:17 Saint Petersburg, Russia
Win 6–0 Migel Grigoryan Submission (rear-naked choke) Siberian Fighting Championship 1 15 December 2011 1 4:25 Tomsk, Russia
Win 5–0 Vladimir Egoyan Decision (split) ProFC: Union Nation Cup Final 2 July 2011 2 5:00 Rostov-on-Don, Russia
Win 4–0 Magomed Ibragimov Submission (triangle choke) Tsumada Fighting Championship 5 1 July 2011 2 3:15 Tsumadinsky, Russia
Win 3–0 Martiros Grigoryan TKO (punches) ProFC: Union Nation Cup 15 6 May 2011 1 2:52 Simferopol, Ukraine
Win 2–0 Tengiz Khuchua KO (punch) M-1 Selection Ukraine 2010: The Finals 12 February 2011 1 0:30 Kyiv, Ukraine
Win 1–0 Magomed Bekbolatov Decision (unanimous) Tsumada Fighting Championship 4 1 August 2010 2 5:00 Tsumadinsky, Russia Lightweight debut.

[97]


Pay-per-view bouts

No. Event Fight Date Venue City PPV buys
1. UFC 280 Oliveira vs. Makhachev 22 October 2022 Etihad Arena Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates 650,000[98]
2. UFC 284 Makhachev vs. Volkanovski 12 February 2023 RAC Arena Perth, Australia 600,000 [99]
3. UFC 294 Makhachev vs. Volkanovski 2 21 October 2023 Etihad Arena Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates Not Disclosed[100]

See also

References

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External links

Achievements
Preceded by 12th UFC Lightweight Champion
22 October 2022 – present
Incumbent