“Usman Nurmagomedov desires to confront challenges akin to the ones that Islam Makhachev encountered with Alexander Volkanovski.”

Usman Nurmagomedov observed his fellow fighter and close friend Islam Makhachev endure a grueling battle against Alexander Volkanovski just a few weeks before his own title defense at Bellator 292.

The champion versus champion event at UFC 284 marked Makhachev’s first UFC lightweight title defense, and it was also the most difficult challenge he had faced during his 12-fight win streak.

The fight that night was a tough one, but Makhachev still managed to emerge victorious with a unanimous decision, successfully retaining his title.

Nurmagomedov took to Instagram to praise his friend’s win, stating, “It was a great fight, the most competitive fight in Islam’s entire career, but without such competition there is no growth.

“As Nurmagomedov prepares to defend his own title against former UFC champion Benson Henderson, he has not yet faced the same level of adversity as Makhachev. So far, he has easily defeated every opponent he has faced en route to the Bellator championship.

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