Islam Makhachev
Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

Why Islam Makhachev Is The Best Wrestler In The UFC

Islam Makhachev is the best wrestler in the UFC, but why is this? Well, firstly, he is the complete package on the ground, and secondly, he has learned from Khabib Nurmagamedov.

He Can Do Everything At An Elite Level

I wrote about my belief that Islam Makhachev is already the top lightweight in the world and why he will be champion by this time next year, but what makes his wrestling so elite? In short, he does everything on the ground at an elite level. From takedowns to submissions to defense, the man simply does it all better than anyone else. If you saw his most recent fight against Thiago Moises, you know exactly what I am talking about. Not only did Makhachev dominate on the ground throughout the fight, but he also defended takedowns and submissions extremely well. Just when I thought the guy was in trouble, he sneaks out and submits Moises.

Khabib Nurmagamedov’s Prodigy

Khabib Nurmagamedov, the greatest lightweight of all time, and to some, the greatest UFC fighter of all time, has trained with Makhachev since the very beginning. Khabib was unstoppable on the mat and Makhachev has been able to watch Khabib do what he does up close. You can already see the similarities in their wrestling styles from the small sample size. Makhachev, like Khabib, tries to smother his opponents once he gets them to the ground. He never gives them a break, whether he is going for submissions or throwing strikes, he does not let his opponents breathe. If you do not believe me, watch Khabib’s fight against Conor McGregor or Dustin Poirier, then watch some of Islam Makhachev’s fights. Makhachev has a keen understanding of what to do in almost any situation, and this is what creates that gap between him and the rest of the UFC when it comes to wrestling.

Islam Makhachev, because of his skill on the ground and his close work with Nurmagamedov, is the best wrestler in the UFC and will be for the foreseeable future.

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