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Video: Khabib reels in Makhachev, tells him to ‘just lose’ if he can’t handle the pressure

Khabib Nurmagomedov is doing everything in his power to prepare Islam Makhachev for his main event clash with Bobby Green tomorrow night (Sat., Feb. 26, 2022) at UFC Vegas 49 live on ESPN+ from inside UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada.

LIVE! Stream UFC San Antonio On ESPN+

BLOCKBUSTER BANTAMWEIGHT CONTENDERS’ BOUT! Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) departs APEX for a special “Fight Night” extravaganza at AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas, on Sat., March 25, 2023, featuring a pair of thrilling 135-pound bouts. Surging No. 4-ranked contender Marlon Vera goes for his fifth consecutive win when he takes on exciting finisher and No. 5-seeded Cory Sandhagen. In UFC San Antonio’s ESPN+-streamed co-main event, former women’s 135-pound champion and current No. 3-ranked Holly Holm battles Yana Santos (No. 4).

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Makhachev, who is riding a nine-fight win streak in the UFC’s stacked lightweight division, has been searching for his first UFC title shot for quite some time. The Russian contender is hoping to follow in the footsteps of Nurmagomedov — who is a long-time teammate and friend of Makhachev — and become one of the most dominant forces in mixed martial arts (MMA) today.

While Makhachev’s success inside of the Octagon suggests he’s ready to take the next step in his career and forge a lightweight title reign just like Khabib did a few years back there are still some issues to correct heading into this weekend’s main event clash. Makhachev may be ranked No. 4 at 155-pounds, but that doesn’t mean the streaking fighter is ready to shoulder the load of becoming a division star or eventual champion.

Luckily, Khabib has Makhachev’s ear heading into UFC Vegas 49’s main event. Earlier this week, Nurmagomedov released a video on his YouTube channel (shown above) and spoke about Makhachev’s mental state ahead of just his second UFC headliner. Khabib may have had to speak a little more direct to get through to Makhachev, but he’s trying to prepare his successor for the big spotlight.

“I think this is like big preparation before fight for the title,” Nurmagomedov told the camera (transcribed via Bloody Elbow). “I think [Makhachev] little bit complain about too much media. Like coach Javier [Mendez] said, ‘If you don’t want [this attention], just lose. Nobody gonna come.’ very simple.”

Nurmagomedov, who is one of the more stoic fighters in UFC history, was even more direct later in the video: “This is your job, brother. Who cares about you’re tired. Nobody cares. You have to do this.”

Makhachev, 30, has lost just one fight in his 12-year professional career. This includes an overall UFC record of 10-1 and his recent nine-fight win streak. If he’s able to harness the pressure this weekend and defeat Green in Las Vegas he’ll have done enough to lock down his lightweight title shot. What he does beyond that is anyone’s guess, but Khabib will be trying to lead the way. will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Vegas 49 fight card RIGHT HERE, starting with the ESPN+ preliminary card bouts at 4 p.m. ET, followed by the ESPN+ main card start time at 7 p.m. ET.

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