Conor McGregor has given shock praise to Khabib Nurmagomedov protege Islam Makhachev after his impressive performance at UFC 284.
Makhachev, who is trained by Nurmagomedov, put on a dominant display against Alexander Volkanovski in the co-main event of the card, winning by unanimous decision.
McGregor, who was defeated by Nurmagomedov in 2018, took to Twitter to praise Makhachev for his performance.
“Islam Makhachev is a hell of a fighter,” McGregor wrote. “He is a true martial artist and a great representation of the sport. He has a bright future ahead of him.”
McGregor’s praise of Makhachev is a surprise, given the history between him and Nurmagomedov. The two have had a long-running feud, with McGregor even going as far as to call Nurmagomedov’s father a “quivering coward” in the lead-up to their fight.
However, it appears that McGregor has put the past behind him and is willing to give credit where it’s due.
Makhachev’s performance against Volkanovski was impressive, as he was able to control the fight from start to finish. He was able to land a number of takedowns and was able to keep Volkanovski on the defensive for the majority of the fight.
Makhachev’s win was a big one for the Dagestani fighter, as it was his first win in the UFC’s featherweight division. He had previously competed at lightweight, but had been unable to find success in the division.
Makhachev’s win also puts him in a good position to challenge for the featherweight title in the near future. He is currently ranked #7 in the division and a win over a top-five opponent could put him in line for a title shot.
McGregor’s praise of Makhachev is a sign that he is willing to put the past behind him and recognize the talent of his opponents. It is a sign of respect from one of the greatest fighters in the sport and it is a sign that McGregor is willing to move on from the past and focus on the future.