14 Incredible Facts About Islam Makhachev: From UFC Debut to World Champion

Islam Makhachev is the UFC Lightweight Champion and a top fighter in mixed martial arts.

He’s known for his grappling skills, striking power, and tough training routine.

Let’s dive into his life, career, and fighting style to see what makes him so special.

Islam Makhachev: Key Facts and Highlights

Full NameIslam Makhachev
Date of BirthOctober 27, 1991
HometownBrushi, Dagestan, Russia
Languages SpokenRussian, Lak, English, some Arabic
FamilyOne daughter, close bond with Khabib Nurmagomedov
Martial Arts TrainingCombat Sambo, Judo (Black Belt), Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (White Belt), Freestyle Wrestling
Notable TrainerKhabib Nurmagomedov
UFC DebutOctober 3, 2015 (UFC 187)
UFC Record13 fights, 12 wins, 1 loss
Championship TitlesUFC Lightweight Champion
Notable Title DefensesVolkanovski, Oliveira, Gaethje
Training Routine2-4 hours/day, 5-6 days/week
Key Training ComponentsSparring, bag work, pad workouts, strength and conditioning, cardio
Bench Press CapabilityMax 110 kg (242 lbs)
Next FightJune 1, 2024, vs Dustin Poirier at UFC 302
Achievements#1 pound-for-pound UFC fighter, World Sambo Championship

Family and Personal Life

How Many Kids Does Islam Makhachev Have?

Islam Makhachev has a lovely daughter he adores.

He keeps his personal life private, but he once shared about his daughter in a video.

After beating Charles Oliveira at UFC 280, Makhachev talked about spending time with her and his parents.

While there’s no official word on other kids, it’s clear his daughter is very important to him.

Does Islam Makhachev Have Siblings?

Born on October 27, 1991, in Russia, Islam Makhachev has made a name for himself in MMA.

He may not have biological siblings, but he shares a close bond with Khabib Nurmagomedov, another top MMA fighter.

They trained together since childhood under Khabib’s father, Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov.

Their friendship is strong, and Makhachev was always in Khabib’s corner during fights. Even after Khabib retired, their friendship continues.

Khabib once said in an ESPN interview,

“Islam is like a brother to me. We grew up together, trained together, and I know he’ll be a great champion. He has all the skills and the heart to be the best”

Khabib, ESPN.

Linguistic Abilities

How Many Languages Can Islam Makhachev Speak?

Islam Makhachev speaks Russian and Lak fluently.

Growing up in Burshi, a village in Dagestan, helped him learn these languages.

He’s also improved his English since joining the UFC and knows some Arabic. That’s pretty impressive!

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Physical Training and Capabilities

How Much Can Islam Makhachev Bench Press?

Islam Makhachev doesn’t focus heavily on bench pressing, but he does other exercises to stay fit and strong.

  • Pull-Ups: He can do 30-40 pull-ups when he really tries. Pull-ups work many upper-body muscles, like the back, biceps, and shoulders.
  • Chest Presses: He usually lifts 50-60 kilograms (110-132 pounds) in multiple sets but once maxed out at 110 kilograms (242 pounds) during a fun gym session.
  • Bench Press: Although he doesn’t regularly do heavy bench presses, he hasn’t lifted more than 110 kilograms. His shorter arms help him perform well in other upper-body exercises.

Makhachev’s training is all about MMA performance, agility, and endurance.

His overall strength and conditioning play a big role in his success in the octagon!

How Many Hours Does Islam Makhachev Train?

Islam Makhachev trains 2 to 4 hours a day, five to six days a week. His routine is a mix of different workouts to keep him in top shape and improve his strength and conditioning. Here’s a peek into his training:

  • Sparring and Technique Work: He practices striking and grappling through sparring sessions. Learning how to grapple, box, and wrestle is key.
  • Bag Work: He works with heavy bags and body bags to boost power, precision, and endurance.
  • Pad Workouts: Pad drills with coaches or partners help refine his combinations, footwork, and timing.
  • Strength and Conditioning: He includes compound lifts and bodyweight exercises for overall fitness and explosive power.
  • Cardio Training: Running, biking, and other cardio exercises build his endurance and stamina.

Secrets from Khabib

Makhachev’s training is influenced by Khabib Nurmagomedov, who supports him a lot.

Some training secrets stay private, but Khabib’s advice is crucial for Makhachev.

It’s not just about the hours of training but also the quality and consistency that make Makhachev a top lightweight fighter!

Fighting Techniques and Style

What is Islam Makhachev’s Fighting Style?

Islam Makhachev has a unique fighting style with grappling, wrestling, and striking. Let’s break it down:

  • Grappling and Ground Game: Makhachev is great at ground fighting and submissions. His ground game, influenced by Dagestan, is similar to Khabib’s. He controls opponents with his cage wrestling skills and aims to keep them down.
  • Striking: Unlike Khabib, Makhachev is better at striking. In his fight against Oliveira, a powerful right-hand strike knocked Oliveira down, leading to Makhachev’s victory. At UFC 284, he used hand and knee strikes to defeat Volkanovski.
  • Training Evolution: Starting with combat sambo, Makhachev’s skills improved when he joined Javier Mendez’s American Kickboxing Academy. He developed top-level striking to go with his grappling.

Coach Javier Mendez told MMA Fighting,

“Islam is a complete fighter. He has the grappling skills of Khabib and the striking skills we’ve developed together. He’s a nightmare for anyone in the lightweight division”

Mendez, MMA Fighting.

What Martial Arts Does Islam Makhachev Use?

Islam Makhachev, the UFC Lightweight Champion, has trained in various martial arts. Here’s a look at his styles:

  • Combat Sambo: Makhachev is an International Master of Sport in Combat Sambo, combining judo, wrestling, and striking.
  • Judo: He holds a black belt in Judo, which he’s practiced since childhood, boosting his grappling skills.
  • Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ): Though technically a white belt, his ground game is excellent, and he transitions smoothly between positions and submissions.
  • Freestyle Wrestling: His wrestling background helps with takedowns and control.
  • Striking: While not his main focus, Makhachev has developed strong striking skills, making him a well-rounded fighter.

Personal Life and Controversies

Did Islam Makhachev Marry His Cousin?

Yes, Islam Makhachev got married in 2021 in Makhachkala, Dagestan.

He keeps his wife’s identity private, which is common in his culture.

Videos from the wedding show his bride’s face covered with a white cloth.

UFC stars like Khabib Nurmagomedov and Zubaira Tughukov attended the wedding.

Professional Career in UFC

How Many Fights Does Islam Have in UFC?

Islam Makhachev has fought 13 times in the UFC, with 12 wins and 1 loss. That’s quite impressive!

When Did Islam Makhachev Start UFC?

Islam Makhachev debuted in the UFC on October 3, 2015, during UFC 187.

He faced Leo Kuntz and won with a rear-naked choke submission in the second round.

Since then, he’s become a major force in the lightweight division!

When Is Islam Makhachev’s Next Fight?

Islam Makhachev will defend his UFC lightweight title against Dustin Poirier at UFC 302 on June 1, 2024, at the Prudential Center in Newark, United States. It’s set to be an exciting fight!

Achievements and Titles

How Many Belts Does Islam Makhachev Have?

Islam Makhachev holds the UFC lightweight title.

His journey in combat sports led him to this prestigious championship.

Born on October 27, 1991, in Brushi, Dagestan, Makhachev won the World Sambo Championship early on. Moving to professional MMA, he had a 12-fight winning streak before his only loss against Adriano Martins at UFC 192.

Islam Makhachev From UFC Debut to World Champion
Islam Makhachev

His record is now 25 wins and 1 loss (25-1-0), making him the #1 pound-for-pound UFC fighter.

His latest win was at UFC 294, where he defended his lightweight title against Alexander ‘The Great’ Volkanovski with a first-round head-kick knockout. His next challenge is Dustin ‘The Diamond’ Poirier at UFC 302 on June 1, 2024, in Newark, New Jersey.

Makhachev also plans to step up to the welterweight division and compete for another title.

How Long Has Islam Makhachev Been Champion?

Islam Makhachev has been the UFC Lightweight Champion since his victory at UFC 284 on October 21, 2023.

He defended his title against Alexander Volkanovski with a first-round head-kick knockout.

Fans eagerly await his next title defense against Dustin Poirier at UFC 302 on June 1, 2024.

What Are Some of His Memorable Title Defenses?

Let’s look at some memorable title defenses by Islam Makhachev as the UFC Lightweight Champion:

  • UFC 284: Makhachev vs. Volkanovski (October 21, 2023): In this rematch, Makhachev faced Alexander ‘The Great’ Volkanovski. Makhachev won with a first-round head-kick knockout, proving his striking skills.
  • UFC 280: Makhachev vs. Oliveira (June 18, 2023): Makhachev defended his title against Charles Oliveira. He won in the second round with an arm-triangle choke submission, showing his grappling dominance.
  • UFC 276: Makhachev vs. Gaethje (February 25, 2023): Makhachev fought Justin Gaethje, known for
    his knockout power. Makhachev used his grappling to control the fight and won by unanimous decision.

These defenses highlight Makhachev’s strength in the lightweight division.

His technical skills and strategy make him a tough opponent!

In a post-fight interview with BT Sport, Makhachev said,

“Every fight is a new challenge, and I prepare for each opponent differently. I am grateful for my team’s support and the hard work we put in every day”

Makhachev, BT Sport.

To conclude

Islam Makhachev’s journey from a small village in Dagestan to the top of the UFC lightweight division is truly inspiring.

His dedication to training, mastery of multiple martial arts, and balance of personal and professional life make him remarkable.

As he continues to defend his title and aim for new goals, fans worldwide watch closely, knowing that with Makhachev, greatness is always just a fight away.

If you have any more questions or need further information, feel free to ask! 

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Alistair Thiedicke hails from Hamburg, Germany, where his love for sports took root. Growing up a die-hard fan, his passion for sports evolved into a career in sports writing. Since 2023, Alistair has been a dedicated writer and editor at Viz Times, covering Soccer, NBA, WNBA, NFL, MLB, and more. His engaging articles captivate sports enthusiasts everywhere.

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