Islam Makhachev admits he was “angry at Khabib for pushing him so hard” during training ahead of the UFC 280 title fight, claiming his trainer and mentor cracks the whip even harder than late father Abdulmanap
- Islam Makhachev has long been known as Khabib Nurmagomedov’s protégé
- He’s trying to forge his own path and could win the lightweight title this weekend
- Makhachev admitted Khabib makes him angry about how tough the training is
Islam Makhachev admitted he was “angry” at his coach and mentor Khabib Nurmagomedov for the ex-UFC champion pushing him so hard in training.
Khabib, who retired undefeated and passed the torch to Makhachev, a similarly wrestling-dominant fighter from Dagestan, set up the title contender for his duel with Charles Oliveira at Saturday’s UFC 280 in Abu Dhabi.
He was famous for his relentless style and trained with an intensity that few others matched.
Khabib Nurmagomedov (right) coached Islam Makhachev (centre) hard in training
Of course, he maintains the same standards for Makhachev and while the 31-year-old will hope to reap the rewards, he admitted it’s been a struggle at times.
“Sometimes I’m angry because he’s not training now and he’s still pushing us so hard,” Makhachev told BT Sport.
“I said to the other trainer, ‘Hey, this guy has no control,’ because if we were sparring or wrestling — I remember in practice we were sparring, grappling, wrestling and then we were done [the training]. But after this training he always has some exercise for us.
‘I think so [tougher coach than his late father Abdulmanap] because he doesn’t have that much experience as a coach, but he pushes us so hard.
Makhachev is preparing for the biggest fight of his career with Khabib in his corner
“For example this camp, only this week I trained lightly but all other months it was so hard.”
Khabib’s late father, Abdulmanap, trained a stable of Dagestani fighters and focused mostly on his son.
But the 29-0 retired star has stepped into the role and is fully confident his man will get the job done on Saturday night.
“This is what Islam will do to Charles Oliveira: He will ride him as you ride your horse. Save this video because many people underestimate Islam,” Nurmagomedov said in a recent video.
“They think Charles Oliveira has a ground game. He has no ground play. If you tap 8 times in UFC how can you tell you have a ground game? You knocked eight times.’
Charles Oliveira is undoubtedly the most talented fighter Makhachev will face