Watch Khabib Nurmagomedov’s wild celebrations as teammate Islam Makhachev vows to retire nemesis Tony Ferguson after dominant UFC 259 win
Islam Makhachev has vowed to ‘retire’ Tony Ferguson for continuing to bad mouth his compatriot Khabib Nurmagomedov.
The Dagestani lightweight prospect outlined his potential with a dominant victory over Drew Dober at UFC 259 to send a message to the rest of the 155lbs division.
Having had mentor Khabib and UFC commentator Daniel Cormier sing his praises throughout fight week; the 29-year-old delivered a performance to match the hype with a third-round submission victory.
The former lightweight champion was cornering his American Kickboxing Academy teammate at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas and made sure to celebrate in style.
The relentless wrestling and underrated striking of Makhachev has drawn obvious comparisons with his more illustrious teammate, but the Russian wants to take the belt Khabib has seemingly vacated following his retirement last year.
And Makhachev has the perfect opponent in mind to kickstart his campaign to get a title shot by the end of 2021.
“2020 was a crazy year, all my fights got cancelled,” he said. “That’s why I’m very happy to be here now and get the finish. I’m very happy.
“The finish is always very important. Maybe Dana will give me the bonus… I tried to finish him in the first round, but Dober is a very strong guy.
“He has like crazy power, that’s why I just tried to make him tired, make him work and finish him in the third round.
“I feel this pressure but I’m not an amateur guy. I have a big amateur career, now I have 19 victories, that’s why I understand everything. I just have to train hard because people believe in me.
“2021 I have to fight two more times and in the beginning of 2022, I have to fight for the title.
“My dream fight is Tony Ferguson. That’s my dream fight. I just want to make him retire.
“He talks too much. Khabib is retired, now he keeps pressuring him, for what? I’m here, I have a seven-fight win streak, make this happen.”