Michael Bisping believes Islam Makhachev is the real deal.
Makhachev is set to headline a Fight Night card on February 26 opposite Beneil Dariush. It’s a very intriguing matchup and it’s likely the winner will get a title shot after Justin Gaethje faces Charles Oliveira sometime this year. For Bisping, he is confident Makhachev wins that fight and then claims the lightweight title later this year.
“I’ll tell you who I got, none other than Islam Makhachev. Listen, the lightweight division, it’s almost impossible to pick this. It’s the most hotly contested (division),” Bisping said on BT Sport. “There are so many great challenges, but I do think Islam will have his time in the sun. How long it will last, how long the reign will be, I do not know. I think he’s going to beat Beneil and then he’s going to get a crack at whoever’s the champ. I just think with all the momentum, all the hype and his skills and his background and the corner and the support and the resources you put it all together, I think this time next year he’s the champion. But, it’s going to be hard to keep hold of that.”
Bisping is not alone in thinking Makhachev will be a future champion as many have pegged him to be a champ. Khabib Nurmagomedov and Javier Mendez are both confident their pupil will also claim UFC gold in the very near future.
- Islam Makhachev is currently 21-1 and riding a nine-fight winning streak after being knocked out by Adriano Martins which was a big upset. He’s coming off a submission victory over Dan Hooker at UFC 267 after defeating Thiago Moises by submission in his first UFC main event earlier in 2021. He also holds notable wins over Drew Dober, Davi Ramos, Arman Tsarukyan, and Gleison Tibau among others.
Cole Shelton covers MMA for BJPenn.com, MMANews, and MyMMANews.com while also being the lead MMA odds writer for Sports Betting Dime