| Last updated
Makhachev, who hails from Dagestan like Khabib, is continuing to build momentum in his UFC career as he eyes up a future title shot with lightweight champ Charles Oliveira.
The 30-year-old UFC star is on a nine-fight unbeaten streak and last suffered defeat at the hands of a first-round knockout from Adriano Martins at UFC 192 in 2015.
Makhachev was expected to challenge Oliveira for the lightweight title at UFC 267 on 30th October, but his opponent withdrew due to injury and was replaced by Dan Hooker.
Abdelaziz, who manages Makhachev, says that he ‘truly believes’ that the Russian MMA fighter can become a better version of Khabib.
Speaking to TMZ, he said: “Islam Makhachev, there's not too many people jumping to fight him.
“I think he is going to be one of the greatest fighters ever. I think he is a better version than Khabib.
“I truly believe he is. He is not now but he can be and I think he's a future world champion for sure.”
Khabib called it time on his illustrious fighting career in 2020 after successfully defending and unifying the lightweight title against Justin Gaethje at UFC 254.
The 33-year-old Russian superstar was unbeaten during his campaign in the octagon -- holding a 29-0 pro MMA record -- and defeated the likes of Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor.
Hooker also sees the potential in Makhachev and believes his opponent is the “next best thing” after Khabib.
“If I could fight any lightweight on the face of the planet, it would be Khabib,” he told MMA Fighting.
“I want to see how I measure up with him. It’s no lie that Islam’s the next best thing.
“Beating Islam is the only opportunity you’re going to get to show what would have happened if you got in there with Khabib when he was champion.
“There’s a lot of exciting aspects about this fight. It’s just another one. I feel like it’s a perfect time for this fight to come together.”
Chosen for YouChosen for You
Most Read StoriesMost Read