Khabib Nurmagomedov explains why Dana White refused to strap the belt around Islam Makhchev after UFC 280 triumph


Khabib Nurmagomedov explains why Dana White refused to strap the belt around Islam Makhchev after UFC 280 triumph

White did not strap the gold around his new lightweight champion's waist, here's why

To an observant viewer, Dana White not being the one to wrap the belt around Islam Makhachev would be a detail that would stand out right away. This absence while crowning a champion, has not had good connotations in the past, most recently happening after Francis Ngannou’s contentious UFC 270 fight week. However, we can all relax as Khabib Nurmagomedov has revealed why that was so.

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Makhachev shined at UFC 280, in front of a home crowd, when he overshadowed Charles Oliveira across the board to win the vacant championship. Manifesting what has become popularly known as “Father’s Plan” i.e. Abdulmanap’s plans for his students, Makhachev gained a submission victory over the fighter with the record for submissions in the UFC

While, White not being the one to wrap the belt around Makhachev might sound conspiratorial to some, Nurmagomedov has revealed that it is nothing of the sort. Turns out, it was rather a touching moment between teammates as it was the former champion who wanted to wrap the golden strap across his protege’s vest.

“I told Dana, ‘Brother I have to give him this belt because I don’t lose belt’, I know I’m the champion till this day, before Islam become Champion” , said Khabib when he asked to express his feelings about his life-long friend winning the Lightweight Title in the same building Nurmagomedov retired in. When Nurmagomedov approached White to as of this request, the president reportedly said, “No problem, take, this is yours, this is Dagestani belt”

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Nurmagomedov was the first to embrace Makhachev after his victory at UFC 280. The duo has grand plans of touring around the world and defending Makhachev’s championships, looking to emulate a Muhammad Ali-like legacy.

Related: “Deserves all the respect”- Charles Oliveira showers massive praise on Khabib Nurmagomedov as the latter nods in acknowledgment

What’s next for Islam Makhachev according to Dana White and Khabib Nurmagomedov?

Dana White x Khabib Nurmagomedov x Islam Makhachev
Nurmagomedov can be seen in the background getting ready to strap the belt around his protégé

Makhachev, only 31, surely has a long career ahead of him and who better to plan it out rather than the former undefeated champion in Nurmagomedov himself? In the same interview, Nurmagomedov gave a glimpse of what was next for Makhachev as he revealed their plans to fly down to Perth, Australia. This time to battle it out for the #1 Pound for Pound Spot against Alexander Volkanovski.

Volkanovski, the current featherweight champion, was the backup fighter for the main event at UFC 280. While his roles were not required for the night, he is set to receive a shot at the double championship, regardless according to Dana White. The event is set to take place in February of 2023

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Also Read: “He made him quit” – Fans SHOCKED as Islam Makhachev destroys Charles Oliveira at UFC 280 to become undisputed lightweight champion

Alternatively, Nurmagomedov also expressed a wish for Makhachev to defend his title against Beneil Dariush, who gave a stellar performance on the same night, beating the much-hyped Mateusz Gamrot, someone Nurmagomedov cited as Makhachev’s first title defense.

Also Read: “He came back with gold medal” – How “24 kilos” Islam Makhachev stunned Khabib Nurmagomedov in the year 2000