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Chael Sonnen ‘Doesn’t Want’ Islam Makhachev to Follow the Same Path as Khabib Nurmagomedov

Souvik Roy

Chael Sonnen ‘Doesn’t Want’ Islam Makhachev to Follow the Same Path as Khabib Nurmagomedov

It’s common consensus that Khabib Nurmagomedov retired prematurely. While he had very compelling reasons, UFC legend, Chael Sonnen has opined that he would not like to see Islam Makhachev follow the same path as his legendary mentor.

Sonnen counted the lack of options before Khabib as one of the primary reasons behind his exit. However, he also had a piece of advice for the current lightweight champ if he ever senses a lack of rivals in the lightweight division.

The worldwide COVID-19 pandemic made the UFC suffer from a lack of availability of fighters. On top of going through the grief of his father passing away, ‘The Eagle’ also wasn’t left with many options after defending his title against Justin Gaethje at UFC 254.

This situation might have led to ‘The Eagle’s’ premature exit from the promotion. If such a scenario ever arises for Islam, Sonnen’s advice is to move up to “170 lbs” division and continue his career.

A lot of guys [like Khabib] will leave the sport because they just don’t know there’s another way. I don’t want Islam to leave because he doesn’t understand that he can go up to 170 lbs [welterweight]”

Sonnen’s piece of advice is a worthy one if the situation ever comes to pass. But like the bantamweight champ, Sean O’Malley said, Makhachev has several “murderers” awaiting to seize his title. He is also training hard for the oldest and most experienced of them for UFC 302 on 1 June.

Does Islam Makhachev underestimate Dustin Poirier?

The entire UFC community is hyped about Makhachev’s third title defense fight at UFC 302. The 32-year-old may have managed to get the better of the former UFC featherweight king, Alexander Volkanovski, but he will be up against the man who got closest to beating Khabib.

Dustin Poirier might have been fighting since Islam was in school but that man has not rust on him. Like a diamond, he’s hard and shines enough to dim his opponents’ lights out. He beat Benoit Saint-Denis against the odds to win this title shot. He TKOed Conor McGregor. He finished Michael Chandler.

And in what could be his last fight in the UFC and is definitely his last title shot, Poirier will look to finish his story with a win over Islam Makhachev. And if he retires after that, what a way that would have been to end a storied career. So, Makhachev would do well not to underestimate the veteran.

And he isn’t. Makhachev appeared on the ESPN MMA YouTube show, ‘Good Guy/Bad Guy’, where he revealed that he wasn’t “underestimating” ‘The Diamond’ in any way. Regardless, we are on the path to a true battle when the gates close behind these two in the octagon.

About the author

Souvik Roy

Souvik Roy


The coveted boxing bout between Lennox Lewis and Mike Tyson in 2002 was the first combat sports event that Souvik ever witnessed. However, he fell for the UFC when he knew about it in 2010. After starting as an occasional viewer back then, Souvik has been watching UFC events almost regularly from late 2017. He began his career as a UFC(MMA) and combat sports journalist in the year 2022 after gathering a lot of valuable knowledge about MMA and a few other combat sports disciplines. He has written more than 1300 articles about various UFC and other combat sports events prior to joining The SportsRush. Apart from being a journalist, Souvik is also an ardent fan of the UFC. Hence, he always looks to have conversations about the same with others. He has a deep affinity for striking part of MMA and other combat sports and Dustin ‘The Diamond’ Poirier is the warrior of his choice in the current UFC roster. Souvik also serves as the Lead Vocalist of a rock band during his time free from publishing reports.

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