Ariel Helwani claims Islam Makhachev “isn’t as good” as Khabib Nurmagomedov giving several explanations following Alexander Volkanovski fight at UFC 284

Ariel Helwani is a controversial name in the combat sports universe. Many fighters and officials have disagreements with many of his reporting which from time to time has led to him getting in trouble (even a ban from UFC). However, his new take involving Khabib ‘The Eagle’ Nurmagomedov and Islam Makhachev may seem a bit harsh, but many would probably agree.

Helwani presented his comparison between Khabib and Makhachev, “I’m sorry, he isn’t as good as Khabib. He is not. He is not as good as Khabib. He is not. At this stage, 26 fights in, Khabib was more refined, dominant, and better. He is not. That being said, he’s one of the top three best fighters in the planet.”

“So please be clear, I know we’re not allowed to criticize Islam Makhachev, I know that’s taboo – I don’t give a f***. I’m saying he won the fight. I’m saying he won fair and square. I don’t think it’s a robbery. I’m being as unbiased as possible,” he added.

But I’m also saying I believe we are putting all the praise and all the stuff that we had on Khabib on his shoulders. We are taking the baton that Khabib had and giving it to him because we want to continue this lineage.” he continued.

How right is Ariel Helwani?

Let’s consider all the information we have on a case-by-case basis. The gigantic elephant in the room is Islam Makhachev’s loss against Adriano Martin via TKO. Khabib never lost a fight in the UFC, at best he may have lost a few competitive rounds. This factor alone is enough to consider ‘The Eagle’ a better factor.

Dealing with adversity is also another factor we have to consider. Makhachev looked like he was in trouble when Volkanovski was landing those huge ground and pound shots on him by the end of the fight. He also had competitive fights against the likes of Arman Tsarukyan.

Nurmagomedov on the other had his most challenging fight against Gleison Tibau, who countered many of his takedowns. On the other hand, there may have been some worrying moments during the Rafael Dos Anjos and Dustin Poirier fights but the AKA prospect still dominated the fights.

So we want to end here by hoping Makhachev reaches the level of Khabib one day.


Amir Khosru

431 articles

A graduate in Linguistics Studies from Jahangirnagar University, hailing from the city of Khulna(Bangladesh). Currently working as a Content Writer who covers Combat Sports. Passionate in a lot of fields including (But not limited to) Reading, Gaming, Travelling, Strolling, Food, UFC, Anime, and whatnot!


Leave a Comment