Newly crowned undisputed UFC lightweight champion, Islam Makhachev has dedicated his championship victory at UFC 280 earlier this month to the late former head coach of his, Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov, explaining how he wished he could have placed the title round the waist of the late sambo specialist.

Headlining UFC 280 last weekend against former undisputed titleholder, Charles Oliveira, Makhachev managed to lock up a stunning second round arm-triangle submission victory against the Brazilian – minting himself as the undisputed lightweight champion.

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Islam Makhachev dedicates title victory to the late Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov

Guided through a camp which is said to have cost in the region of $1,000,000 by American Kickboxing Academy head coach, Javier Mendez, and the undefeated former lightweight champion, Khabib Nurmagomedov, Makchahev dedicated his win over Oliveira to Khabib’s late father, Abdulamanap.

“My coach was the first to believe in me when I first came to the gym and did not even think of becoming a fighter,” Islam Makhachev posted on Instagram, accompanied by a picture of himself alongside Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov, and Khabib Nurmagomedov. “I wasn’t special, I wasn’t different from the rest and throughout my career he believed in me and told me that I would be a champion, that I just needed to practice.”

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“And today, when i became a champion, I would really like to put this belt on my coach, in the Octagon,” Islam Makhachev continued. “If you were by my side, it would have been a more meaningful victory for me. May the Almighty grant you the highest rank of Paradise coach.” (Translated by Google Translate)

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Expected to make his first attempted defense of his lightweight crown next year, Dagestan grappling ace, Makhachev is touted to make a visit to Perth, Australia atop a UFC 284 pay-per-view card in February – drawing undisputed featherweight champion, Alexander Volkanovski in a champion versus champion superfight. 

Aspiring mixed martial arts reporter based in Ireland. Follow along at @Ross_Markey on Twitter for all the latest news, fight announcements, opinion, and feature pieces.