Russian fighter Islam Makhachev, who won the UFC lightweight championship belt at UFC 280 in Abu Dhabi, returned home to Dagestan, where he was met not only by relatives, friends and fans, but also by the leadership of the republic represented by the head of the region Sergey Melikov and the Minister of Sports Sazhida Sazhidova.
“They flew okay. Slept, slept. A couple of days have passed already, rested. There are no feelings yet. Now I will see my friends, relatives, ”the UFC champion said to the journalists who met him.
The Russian also told what he plans to do in the next two weeks before returning to the gym.
“I’ll take a break, I guess. I have been preparing for this fight for a long time. Three months before the fight, I went to the training camp. In the mountains, and in Dagestan, we had a long preparation. And I plan to take a break from training for at least two weeks.”
Separately, Makhachev remembered his coach Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov, who predicted the triumph of his student, but he himself did not live to see it.
“The belt is not as hard to win as it is to keep, so I plan to defend it with dignity. I think Abdulmanap would be pleased. All my life he said that I would become a champion, that I needed to train. I constantly listened to him, did what he says. I think he would be happy.”
The Russian fighter confirmed that his next goal is to lead the rankings of the best UFC fighters, regardless of the weight he leads, if he beats Australian Alexander Volkanovski, who holds the UFC featherweight title, on February 11 at UFC 284 in Perth.
“I have now been put in the ranking of the best fighters in third place. I think my goal right now is to be the best fighter in the world.”
Recall that last weekend, Islam Makhachev finished with a hand triangle choke in the second round of Brazilian Charles Oliveira and won the vacant UFC lightweight championship belt.