Islam Makhachev is using the same sparring partner who helped Khabib Nurmagomedov prepare for his last fight against Justin Gaethje

The biggest bout of his career, between Islam Makhachev and Alexander Volkanovski, will take place at UFC 284 in Perth, and the Dagestan native isn’t taking any chances.

Makhachev appears to be sparring with Movlid Khaybulaev, the same partner who helped Khabib Nurmagomedov defeat Justin Gaethje at UFC 254 and maintain his undefeated record.

Khaybulaev, who presently fights in the PFL’s featherweight division, won the championship in 2021 by outclassing Chris Wade over the course of five rounds to earn a unanimous decision victory. He was unable to defend his title, though, as an injury kept him out of the 2022 campaign.
The head coach of the American Kickboxing Academy (AKA) discussed why Movlid Khaybulaev is the ideal sparring partner for Islam Makhachev in a recent episode of the Javier Mendez podcast. He declared:

“Movlid is a fierce wrestler and has a tonne of experience. He is an excellent wrestler. He is also smaller. Movlid is excellent. Shara is a fantastic sparring partner, as I already mentioned. Despite their differences, they make excellent sparring partners. He possesses everything he requires for a fight.”
It’s interesting to note that Mendez also mentioned Makhachev working out with promising middleweight prospect Sharaputdin Magomedov, who recently joined the UFC. The unbeaten fighter has knocked opponents out in 10 of his last 11 professional MMA matches.

Islam Makhachev previews fight against Alexander Volkanovski at UFC 284

At UFC 284 in Australia, Islam Makhachev will face Alexander Volkanovski in his maiden lightweight title defence. Many MMA fans believe the 31-year-old enters the bout with a clear size and weight advantage and is the better grappler.
Given his pound-for-pound No. 1 ranking, Islam Makhachev has relished the challenge of taking on “The Great,” but the Dagestani fighter thinks Volkanovski will quit once he starts putting pressure on him.
The lightweight champion had the following prediction for the outcome of the match in an interview with Fox Sports Australia’s Niko Pajarillo:

“It was difficult for me to submit Charles Oliveira as well, but I’ll try. I’m going to be tough on him if it’s not going to be a submission. When he decides that “Oh, this isn’t my division [anyway], I don’t want to take more harm,” give him ground and pound. He’s going to quit.”
Both Alexander Volkanovski and Islam Makhachev have only suffered one defeat in their professional MMA careers. They have each been undefeated since 2015 and 2013, respectively.

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