Islam Makhachev labels Umar Nurmagomedov ‘future champ’ after UFC Vegas 87 victory

Umar Nurmagomedov maintained his undefeated record with a commanding victory over debutant Bekzat Almakhan at UFC Vegas 87. As a member of Khabib Nurmagomedov’s Dagestan crew, Umar displayed remarkable grit and skill, drawing the attention of teammate Islam Makhachev, the UFC lightweight champion.

Read below to discover Islam Makhachev’s comments on Nurmagomedov and to learn more about the plans of the undefeated fighter in the UFC’s competitive bantamweight division, currently dominated by ‘Suga’ Sean O’Malley.

Umar Nurmagomedov garners praise from Islam Makhachev

Islam Makhachev consistently shares his thoughts on notable UFC events through social media platform X. Even before his unanimous decision victory at UFC Vegas 87, Umar Nurmagomedov received praise from his compatriot and teammate, Islam Makhachev.

“Let’s go Umar👊🏼 Future champ my brother @UNmgdv #UFCVegas87 @ufc,” Makhachev tweeted on X with a picture of himself with the undefeated bantamweight fighter. Staying true to Makhachev’s remarks, Nurmagomedov showed championship mettle as he recovered from an early knockdown to dominate Bekzat Almakhan en route to a unanimous decision victory.

Makhachev reposted UFC’s official tweet video showing Nurmagomedov walking back to the dressing room, wearing a Palestinian scarf in support of Palestine in the war against Israel.

Muhammad Mokaev, another fighter from Dagestan who fought at UFC Vegas 87, had also demonstrated support for Palestine after his victory as he even called out Rishi Sunak, the British PM, to stop military aid to Israel.

Umar Nurmagomedov calls out Cory Sandhagen

Umar Nurmagomedov fought at UFC Vegas 87 after a one-year absence from the octagon post his knockout victory over Raoni Barcelos at UFC Vegas 67, the first UFC event of 2023. Nurmagomedov was scheduled to headline UFC Nashville against Cory Sandhagen but had to withdraw due to a shoulder injury and got replaced by Rob Font.

Post his victory at UFC Vegas 87, Nurmagomedov had set his sights on Sandhagen again. “I want to fight Cory Sandhagen,” said the undefeated bantamweight fighter in the post-fight press conference. Sandhagen, the former interim bantamweight title challenger, is ranked third in the division and does not have a fight lined up.

With Dana White promising the next title shot to Merab Dvalishvili, Sandhagen will likely face Nurmagomedov in a potential number-one contender fight. The bantamweight title is on the line at UFC 299, where Sean O’Malley aims to make his first title defense against former foe Marlon Vera.

Nurmagomedov has already asserted that he is better than both O’Malley and Dvalishvili, considered by many as the best bantamweight fighter in the UFC. Dvalishvili solidified his standing as the best with a victory over former two-division champion Henry Cejudo at UFC 298 and is next in line for a title shot.

Who do you think will win a fight between Umar Nurmagomedov and Cory Sandhagen? Leave your prediction below!


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