UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov has commiserated with training partner Islam Makhachev after he was forced to withdraw from a high profile UFC main event this weekend, telling him that injuries are inevitable.
It was revealed overnight that the 18-1 Makhachev had been removed from this weekend’s featured bout in Las Vegas against former titleholder Rafael dos Anjos after suffering from a staph infection, and it comes as a significant blow to the highly-rated Dagestani combat Sambo world champion.
Makhachev was unofficially anointed as his own successor by Khabib Nurmagomedov in the days after he announced his retirement following his win on “Fight Island” against Justin Gaethje last month, with Makhachev’s forthcoming fight with dos Anjos intended to be the bout which would rubber-stamp his transition to the lightweight elite – but those plans will have to go on the back burner for now, at least.
A clearly disappointed Makhachev took to social media following news of his withdrawal to clarify the reason for it.
“The only thing that calms down is that we cannot get away from what has been prescribed,” Makhachev wrote on Instagram via translation.
“A lot of time and effort was spent on this fight, I was in peak shape, but as soon as I started to lose weight and the immune system began to weaken, I caught an infection that would incapacitate me for at least a month in this camp, our team had already encountered this infection more than once and many had to cancel your fights.
“This year was difficult for my career, a lot of fights were canceled but I promise you I will go all the way to this belt no matter what it takes.”
And now Nurmagomedov, a man who has experienced more than his fair share of injury setbacks throughout his record-breaking career, has issued a message of support for his friend and training partner, telling Makhachev that these are the types of challenges which one must persevere through to become champion.
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Травмы это часть этой игры, чтобы стать чемпионом нужно многое пройти, терпения и хорошего настроения тебе Брат @islam_makhachev – Пророк Мухаммад (да Благословит Его Аллах и Приветствует) сказал: “Знай: то, что миновало, не должно было с тобой случиться, а то, что случилось с тобой, не должно было тебя миновать. И знай, что нет победы без терпения, находки без потери, облегчения без трудностей”. Хадис Ат-Тирмизи.
“Injuries are part of this game, to become a champion you need to go through a lot, patience and good mood for you Brother Islam Makhachev,” Khabib wrote, via translation.
“The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon Him) said: ‘Know that what has passed should not have happened to you, and what happened to you should not have passed you. And know that there is no victory without patience, finds without loss, relief without difficulty.'”
The news caps several weeks of ups and downs for Nurmagomedov, Makhachev and several other members of their team. Khabib, of course, was successful in defending his 155-pound world title in Abu Dhabi against Justin Gaethje but shocked the MMA world shortly after by announcing his retirement from the sport at just 32 years of age.
Makhachev, too, has experienced some strange twists of fate recently with today’s news being the second time in the span of just a month in which a fight with Ddos Anjos has fallen apart just days out from when they were due to step into the cage.
Furthermore, Khabib’s cousin and training partner Umar Nurmagomedov was also removed from the UFC 254 fight card last month after also contracting a staph infection.