UFC

Islam Makhachev Expects To Get Knockout Of The Year Award In 2022

Streaking UFC lightweight challenger, Islam Makhachev is fast approaching his first title shot under the promotion’s banner ahead of a title eliminator next month. And despite notching a trio of dominant submission wins last year, the Makhachkala native has sights on scooping a knockout worthy of an end of year award.

Ranked at #4 in the official lightweight pile, the American Kickboxing Academy product is slated to headline UFC Vegas 48 next month against the #3 ranked contender, Beneil Dariush, with the victory expected to challenge for lightweight spoils in their next outing with a win. 

Makhachev enters the headlining bout with Dariush off the back of a high-profile first round submission win over Dan Hooker at UFC 267 back in October on ‘Fight Island’ – which improved his winning run in the division to nine straight fights. 

Before his submission win over Hooker, Makhachev headlined his first UFC event back in July – stopping Thiago Moises with a fourth round rear-naked choke, which followed a March arm-triangle stoppage over Drew Dober.

Lifting the BT Sports Fight Week Submission of the Year for his kimura stoppage over City Kickboxing striker, Hooker, Makhachev claimed that he hoped to win the Knockout of the Year award by the close of 2022.

“Hello, everyone – a kimura is not an easy submission to make in the fight (with Dan Hooker), but I have many other submissions in my arsenal that I will try to show you guys in 2022,” Islam Makhachev said. “And it’s an honor for me to get this award. At the end of 2022, I expect to get (the) award; Best Knockout of the Year. This year is gonna be big for us, guys. Thank you for following my career. See you soon, guys. 

Hotly-tipped to eventually clinch UFC lightweight gold, Makhachev, who constantly draws comparisons from his teammate and former undisputed champion, the now-retired, Khabib Nurmagomedov – has been guaranteed a shot at the title should he defeat Dariush, according to the latter, at least

“Beneil (Dariush), and Islam (Makhachev), this is truly, 100% a number one contender fight,” Khabib said last year. “Who’s gonna win — they’re gonna fight for the title. And the UFC told Islam, if he beats Dariush, like, he gonna fight for the title.”

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Ross Markey

An MMA fan since 2011 and covering the sport since 2016, Ross Markey has built himself into a top journalist in combat sports.

First catching on to MMA and the UFC in particular back when Brock Lesnar fought Shane Carwin, and even more so when he fought Alistair Overeem back in 2011, Ross really became enchanted with the sport from late-2013-2014 onwards.

He initially began covering MMA in tandem with football back in June 2016 just as he was finishing school. The first real event he covered on his own personal blog was UFC 200 in July of that year during international fight week. His content consisted of previews and event and results recaps. In between jobs, Ross produced content on the side before transitioning to a full-time position back in early 2019.

He initially started creating content on his own blog back in June of 2016, before becoming a staff writer, lead writer, and editor for websites such as MMA Motion, Combat Insiders, Fight Bananas, FightPost, Severe MMA, MMA Power Hour, FightBook MMA, LowKick MMA, and of course, Current MMA.

Back in 2019, Ross received the award Top Journalist of 2019 for FightBook MMA, before he was then promoted to the website's lead writer. Following a six-month period at MMA Power Hour, he was also employed as a junior editor for the company. Throughout his time in the industry, he has interviewed the likes of Colby Covington, Rhys McKee, Pedro Carvalho, Felicia Spencer, Eryk Anders, Jussier Formiga, Danni Neilan, Frans Mlambo, Alex Lohore, Blaine O'Driscoll, Modestas Bukauskas, Ross Houston, Jon Fitch, and Richie Smullen.

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