Islam Makhachev says his detractors have gone quiet
The Dagestani was crowned UFC king in Abu Dhabi. © Chris Unger / Zuffa LLC
Recently-crowned UFC lightweight champion Islam Makhachev has issued a social media post claiming that his ‘haters’ have gone into hiding since the biggest win of his career.
The Russian is the latest world champion from Dagestan after coach Khabib Nurmagomedov led him to the 155lbs title at UFC 280 in Abu Dhabi last month.
Makhachev, 31, achieved the feat by submitting Charles Oliveira in the second round.
And though Makhachev was the bookies’ favorite heading into the bout, some corners of the MMA community and its fandom doubted that he would be able to stop the Brazilian’s 11-fight win streak.
They also pointed to the perceived poorer strength of Makhachev’s record, and were critical of UFC president Dana White handing the Russian a title fight in a stacked division.
View this post on Instagram
After already returning home to a hero’s welcome in Dagestan, Makhachev recalled remarks from his detractors leading up to the headline bout at the Etihad Arena.
“He didn’t deserve [it], [he] never fought top fighters, [this is] not his level, [he] will get knocked out, submitted,” Mackachev wrote in a post to his 5 million followers on Instagram.
“After the fight [I] can’t find my haters, it’s hard without you guys,” the 23-1 star added, along with a crying-with-laughter emoji and the hashtag “need new haters.”
Makhachev receives hero’s welcome in Dagestan following UFC title win (VIDEO)
Makhachev is waiting to learn his opponent for his first title defense, but it is likely to be the man considered the world’s pound-for-pound king in featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski.
The Australian entered the octagon after Makhachev disposed of Oliveira, and the future opponents shook hands amicably.
But in order to prevent ‘Volk’ from becoming a two-weight champion, it appears that Makhachev may have to travel to enemy territory, with a contest tipped for Australia in the first part of 2023.