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Islam Makhachev Reveals His Team Never Had Gloves Until Khabib Nurmagomedov Signed UFC Deal

Souvik Roy

Islam Makhachev Reveals His Team Never Had Gloves Until Khabib Nurmagomedov Signed UFC Deal

Islam Makhachev did not have the proper equipment for training sessions in striking before his bosom friend Khabib Nurmagomedov joined the UFC. The current UFC lightweight champ appeared in the latest episode of the ‘Weighing In’ podcast where he revealed that none of the fighters in his camp had “boxing gloves” before Khabib’s UFC entry. On top of it, Makahchev also revealed how such a deficiency had a positive impact on his development.

Both Makhachev and Khabib have dominated the world in the sport of combat sambo.’The Eagle’ has claimed two world championships to his name while Makhachev stands as a one-time world champion and a two-time Russian national champion in the sport. The UFC community has also been fascinated by the Dagestani fighters’ advanced ground game.

The 32-year-old revealed how they used to train in just grappling or wrestling in his initial days due to the lack of proper equipment for striking. Makahchev also implied that his and Khabib’s awesome ground game was a result of the fact that they didn’t have “boxing gloves” during that time. He said,

When I was beginning, nobody in our gym had boxing gloves. We knew just one thing, coming to the gym and wrestling and grappling all day. When Khabib signed with the UFC, we began to do some sparring. But before that, we were all wrestlers.”

Well, Khabib’s UFC performances detail that he depended mostly on his ground game to get the better of his rivals. However, Makhachev’s performances at UFC 284 and 294 have proven that he can hold in own even in striking. Still, it will be wise for the 32-year-old to avoid an out-and-out striking game against his next rival at UFC 302.

Islam Makhachev wants to resort to the learnings of his initial training days during his UFC 302 fight

Islam Makhachev is all set to defend his UFC lightweight gold against Dustin Poirier at UFC 302. However, he might make a big mistake if he chooses to test his striking prowess against ‘The Diamond’.

Poirier’s in-octagon showdowns bear testimony to his phenomenal striking skills. Moreover, the Louisiana native’s last performance at UFC 299 revealed that he still has enough to knock the lights out of top lightweight contenders like Benoit Saint-Denis.

This is probably why the Dagestani is planning to finish Poirier via a submission. Hence, the entire situation details that Makhachev might be thankful for the initial days of his training when none of his gym-mates had boxing gloves. He would have become an easier target for Poirier if he hadn’t developed his ground game during those days.

Post Edited By:Shraman Mitra

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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