At the end of October, on October 30, Rafael dos Anjos will face Dagestani Islam Makhachev. The seven-ranked Brazilian was once the UFC lightweight champion, and at the age of 36, he is hoping for another title quest. Still, hard work awaits him against the great Makhachev whom many see as the successor to Khabib Nurmagomedov and a sure champion in the future.
Rafael dos Anjos fought Nurmagomedov in 2014 and lost by unanimous decision. There are certain theories that Khabib tapped on Brazil's "guillotine" attempt at the beginning of the second round, but Rafael admitted that he honestly lost that fight.
So the 36-year-old Brazilian fighter is informed about the capabilities and strength of Khabib Nurmagomedov, and in an interview with Evy Rodrigues (Combate portal), the RDA was asked to describe the differences between Makhachev and Khabib.
The Brazilian claims to have first-hand information. "I think they are completely different fighters. The Islamic team (AKA) puts all its hopes in him to become a champion. Islam is a talented fighter, but I think Khabib is different.
" "I say this listening to the stories of people who have trained with both of them, know them and have trained with me as well. They told me that Islam is a technically more refined fighter than Khabib, he relies more on the use of technique, but he does not have the condition like Khabib."
"He constantly saves himself, brings himself to the position he wants, and then just keeps the opponent in that position. Khabib, on the other hand, works harder, has more desire and determination, and has a larger fuel supply."
"Just looking at their fights, I see exactly those things. Khabib is a fighter who imposes rhythm and a stronger tempo, he is not tied to one position, but constantly attacks. Islam is more technically pronounced, but he tries not to expose himself and not to spend too much, '' the RDA explained.
It was the head coach of the American Kickboxing Academy (AKA) who described the differences between Makhachev and Khabib in a podcast by Mike Swick a few days ago. '' Khabib is more vicious. When he controls you, he does it with his whole body.
His feet, hands, toes, he locks you all. Khabib is more explosive than the two fighters, but Islam is a little more fluid in transitions, '' said Javier Mendez, among other things Islam’s pace is indeed noticeably slower than Khabib’s, and it is also true that Makhachev acts technically sophisticated.
What the two Dagestanis are similar in is their incredible dominance over opponents, and we’ll see if the experienced Rafael dos Anjos has a solution for Makhachev when he didn’t already have one for Khabib.