Islam Makhachev couldn’t have performed much better than he did in his biggest career moment at UFC 280 this past weekend (Oct. 22, 2022) in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
Indeed, Makhachev did what he typically does in fights, utilizing his dominant wrestling skills, the Sambo specialist controlled and imposed his will upon former champion, Charles Oliveira, to claim UFC’s vacant Lightweight crown.
Stunning “Do Bronx” on the feet in round two, Makhachev quickly followed him to the ground before locking in an arm triangle choke submission to seal the deal (watch highlights), hearing his name be called following “and new” from Bruce Buffer. Long-time UFC commentator, Joe Rogan, didn’t make the trip to see the 155-pound champion’s coronation, but he was just as impressed as everyone else watching along.
“Islam Makhachev must have the most incredible squeeze,” Rogan said on his Joe Rogan Experience podcast. “His squeeze must be out of this world because you see how quick Charles tapped once he clamped that on him. I mean, woo.
“That dude is on another level,” he continued. “I mean, he is the truth. I was always impressed with him, but I was saying leading up to him getting a shot at the world title, he’s the boogeyman of that division. He was the guy that everyone was saying was the most dominant of all the contenders. Then when he tapped [Drew] Dober, that was a big one. When he tapped Dan Hooker, that was a big one, too. It was like the way he’s tapping these guys who are these world-class fighters and he’s just f—king running through them.”
The win for Makhachev (23-1) extended his win streak to a whopping 11, now positioning him for an even bigger fight than the one he just had. Makhachev has catapulted up to No. 3 in the official UFC pound-for-pound rankings and appears set for a date with destiny against No. 1 on that list, the Featherweight champion, Alexander Volkanovski.
Thus far in his career, Makhachev has simply been unmatched when the action hits the mat.
“The fact that he got on Oliveira and mounted him then submitted him with an arm triangle choke like that, woo,” Rogan said. “He submitted the guy with the most submissions in the sport. And the way he did it was so methodical and dominant, and Oliveira tested him. He got out of bad positions in the first round, got back up to his feet, hit him with some good shots, but Makhachev, he’s the f—king truth.”
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