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Updated December 30th, 2023 at 21:46 IST

'Scares me': Former teammate of UFC champion Islam Makhachev names a tough fight for Dagestani

Islam Makhachev is currently the UFC Lightweight champion. He is on a roll after consecutive victories over Alexander Volkanovski. Read on.

Prateek Arya
Islam Makhachev
Islam Makhachev | Image:AP
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Islam Makhachev's selection of Leon Edwards has alarmed a former colleague of the lightweight champion, Josh Thomson. Thomson spent much of his career training at American Kickboxing Academy, the same gym which Makhachev has called home for nearly a decade.

3 things you need to know

  • Islam Makhachev defeated Charles Oliveira to clinch the UFC Lightweight title
  • Makhachev defended the title against Alexander Volkanovski twice
  • Makhachev is not booked to have any fights in the first quarter of 2024

Also Read | UFC 300: First three fights announced by Dana White, April PPV to feature Sterling, Jiri Prochazka

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 Josh Thomson highlights the fight that could prove to be challenging for Islam Makhachev

Following UFC 296, where Edwards defeated Colby Covington via decision in the main event, the Dagestani took to X to declare that if he faced both welterweights, he would have finished them both.

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Islam Makhachev is regarded as one of the most powerful lightweights on the roster, and a promotion to welterweight would not be surprising. Thomson, on the other hand, believes that Leon Edwards' skill set would create numerous difficulties for Makhachev to overcome.

During a recent episode of the Weighing In podcast, Thomson broke down the potential fight:

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"I gotta be honest though. This is a fight that scares me a little with Islam. The speed of Leon Edwards, the ability to get takedowns and put Islam on his back, himself. I know Islam prides himself on takedown defense and all those things, but Leon has proven he can take top-level wrestlers down before."

He continued:

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"I have said before that the Dagestani style of wrestling is just different. You get into that clinch and try and body lock [Islam Makhachev], try and take him down. He will look to feet sweep you, he'll look to let you fall, lateral drop you... But on the feet, Leon - the speed, the accuracy, the way he mixes up the kicks... It's a tough fight"

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Published December 30th, 2023 at 21:46 IST

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