Islam Makhachev receives emotional call from Khabib moments after historic UFC Perth win
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Islam Makhachev secured his position as the best fighter in all of the UFC with a win over Alexander Volkanovski at UFC 284.
It was the Russian’s hardest test of his career in a matchup that really could’ve gone either way when it went to the judges’ scorecards.
But the Dagestani destroyer survived a late onslaught from the Australian as the judges awarded him the win.
It meant that he retained his lightweight title while moving up one spot to become the pound-for-pound king of the promotion.
And while it was a momentous occasion for Makhachev it perhaps could’ve been made even better if there was a certain person in his corner.
Fans would’ve noticed that UFC legend Khabib Nurmagomedov was not in attendance in Perth.
Last month, the former lightweight champion retired from MMA coaching in order to focus more on his family.
And while he wasn’t in his protege’s corner in Perth it didn’t stop Khabib from congratulating the reigning lightweight champion.
Makhachev was overcome with emotion after extending his win streak to 12 and probably even more so when Nurmagomedov gave him a ring.
In footage captured by the UFC cameras, Khabib could be seen on a FaceTime call with the champion calling him the ‘pound-for-pound king’ in English.
Makhachev later revealed the details of their interaction at the post-fight press conference.
He said: “[Khabib] was so nervous. And he say, 'Hey, why don't you do, this, this and this?'
"And I said, 'Hey, if you came to [Perth] and you were in my corner I can do this.'
"'But you didn't come.'"
And despite not being in his corner, Khabib was undoubtedly proud of his student.
Taking to Instagram to congratulate Makhachev, Khabib wrote: “Simply the best.
"Proved it in a hard, competitive fight against the best active fighter on the planet.
"There is always something to work on.
"But this story will remain for a long time in this sport.
“Just have a flashback on your memory of who topped the best regardless of weight category from Eurasia in the history of MMA, there were only a couple of fighters and Islam was already on that list.
“You’re history brother.”