Are Khabib Nurmagomedov And Islam Makhachev Related?

Are Khabib Nurmagomedov And Islam Makhachev Related

Islam Makhachev followed fellow Dagestani Khabib Nurmagomedov‘s footsteps and won the UFC lightweight championship.


Dagestan has produced some of the best fighters in the UFC. Interestingly, two out of the last three UFC lightweight champions came from Dagestan, including the reigning champion Islam Makhachev.

Makhachev won the UFC lightweight champion by defeating Charles Oliveira at UFC 280. But long before Makhachev even fought for the belt, Nurmagomedov already predicted that he would become champion one day.

Although they call each other brother, they are not related by blood. However, Khabib and Islam used to train together under Nurmagomedov’s late father Abdulmanap. While the elder Nurmagomedov groomed his son to become a champion, he also told Islam that he would have his time one day.

During the UFC 242 Press Conference, Khabib – then the lightweight king, put his 155-pound belt in front of Makhachev while declaring him as a future champion. Nurmagomedov couldn’t have been more correct. 

After Khabib retired, it was Oliveira who became the champ. But Makhachev took the title at UFC 280 with a dominating win over Oliveira. After the fight, he paid tribute to his late coach.

“My belt for my coach, Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov,” Makhachev said. “Many years ago, he told me, ‘Just train hard and you going to be champion.’ And I want to give [Khabib] this belt. His father made me, I know.”

‘Yours’ said Khabib as he draped the belt around Islam’s waist. Makhachev has since defended the belt twice, both against Volk. Makhachev will once again try to keep the belt in Dagestan when he faces Dustin Poirier at the main event of UFC 302 next month.

While Islam has been repulsing challengers, Khabib has been busy with training fighters and being the owner of the Eagle FC MMA promotion. However, he’s always made time to support his protege Makhachev in every fight. Well, that was until UFC 294 when we didn’t see him in Islam’s corner. It turned out, that Khabib already ‘left’ mixed martial arts permanently.

“Best fighter in the world today. Love you, brother, and congratulations,” Nurmagomedov wrote on IG via Marca. “If you guys ask me where have I been, and why wasn’t I in the corner, I already answered this question, I don’t go to fights, I don’t go to the corner and I completely left everything related to MMA. I ask you to accept my decision the same way as my brothers, friends and sparring partners did. What our team achieved will forever be in the history of MMA.”

It remains to be seen if Khabib will be in his brother’s corner at UFC 302. But because Islam is part of Team Khabib, Nurmagomedov has assembled the best possible team to help Makhachev prepare for Dustin Poirier.

Among the fighters that Nurmagomedov has brought in to prepare Makhachev is Belal Muhammad who is the No. 2 ranked welterweight in the UFC today. Of course, Khabib is there to guide Islam too, as he’s always done in the past. That’s the kind of brotherhood that these two have, even if they are not related by blood.