In October last year, Khabib Nurmagomedov retired from MMA, and we began to see him more and more often in the corners of various Dagestani fighters and his friends. He was last seen in that role last weekend when Islam Makhachev defeated Thiago Moises at the UFC on ESPN 26 show.
Makhachev is a fighter who is increasingly called the successor of Khabib Nurmagomedov, and something like that was predicted by Khabib's late father Abdulmanap who claimed that the time of Islam comes when Khabib retires.
Brett Okamoto revealed to us through a post on his Twitter profile how he talked to Khabib, and he revealed to him the big plans he has for his successor '' Khabib Nurmagomedov told me that the plan for Islam Makhachev is to do another fight by the end of the year, reach the finish line, and be named Fighter of the Year."
"He is currently at 2-0 and both fights are finished(Drew Dober, Thiago Moises). He'd have to beat out some tough competition. Usman, Moreno, and Ngannou are tops I'd say, and there is certainly Dustin Poirier, '' Okamoto wrote in his announcement.
Kamaru Usman defeated Gilbert Burns and Jorge Masvidal this year. Both times he looked fantastic and knocked them both out. He should be fighting Colby Covington by the end of the year, and if he defends his belt for the third time in 2021, there is no doubt that he will be the main favorite for Fighter of the Year.
Francis Ngannou defeated Stipe Miocic this year and became the UFC heavyweight champion. Although he fought less than Usman, the victory over Miočić was spectacular and he reached the belt with a brutal knockout. Ngannou hopes to do at least one more fight by the end of the year.
Mexican Moreno also has just one appearance this year. In June, he dominated then-flyweight champion Deiveson Figueiredo and also came away with a break after forcing the Brazilian to tap. Dustin Poirier has fought twice this year and won both times with a stoppage.
However, none of his fights were for the belt, at least for now. Both times he defeated Conor McGregor. Still, Poirier is expected to attack the lightweight belt currently owned by Charles Oliveira, and if he does so this year and if he is successful, who knows, maybe he will be the favorite fighter of the year.
However, one should not write off Charles Oliveira either, who knocked out Michael Chandler in May and reached the UFC lightweight belt. If he also defeats Dustin Poirier this year, there is no reason not to compete for the mentioned award.