Daniel Cormier defends Islam Makhachev from criticism but makes an important reservation: 'He is not Khabib'

The UFC commentator praised the lightweight champion but asked fans not to compare him with his mentor and personal friend

Even with three defenses of the lightweight belt (up to 70,3kg), Islam makhachev still suffers from criticism from fans and the MMA community. In his podcast, the current Ultimate commentator came to the defense of the Russian star and called him a 'victim' of the eternal comparison with his mentor and friend Khabib Nurmagomedov.

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“”Look, one of the things about Islam is that you become a victim of expectation, right? He showed that he can exchange with a very dangerous striker and was able to finish when he needed to. So I thought he did well. I thought Dustin (Poirier) did well, but I think he's a victim of expectation. He is not Khabib Nurmagomedov. Khabib was so dominant… So people expect the same thing from Islam. Nobody is like Khabib,” Cormier said.

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Lightweight champion since October 2022, Islam has already defended the lightweight belt on three occasions. In the last, the pupil of Khabib Nurmagomedov concluded the veteran Dustin poirier in the main fight of UFC 302, held on June 01st, in New Jersey (USA).

Former category champion, Khabib Nurmagomedov retired in October 2020, with a victory over the same Dustin poirier, marking what was his third belt defense. The Russian retired from MMA immediately after the fight, with an undefeated record of 29 wins.

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Poatan is defended by former champion amid persecution suffered in the UFC

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