At UFC 267, some of the promotion’s biggest names are set to compete, with Dagestani lightweight Islam Makhachev one of the most notable. Makhachev will no doubt have a strong fanbase out to support him at Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Stadium.
One particularly noteworthy individual is expected to be there to cheer Makhachev on, that man being none other than Hasbulla Magomedov. The viral blogger, who also hails from Dagestan, has previously been referred to as ‘Mini Khabib’. He has a huge online following and is often seen in pictures with fighters from Makhachev’s camp.
MMA journalist Danny Segura recently announced that Hasbulla is set to be at UFC 267. He confirmed the report with PFL featherweight Movlid Khaybulaev, who trains with Islam Makhachev.
“Hasbulla is expected to attend #UFC267 in support of Islam Makhachev. Confirmed with PFL’s Movlid Khaybulaev.”
Who is Islam Makhachev fighting at UFC 267?
Islam Makhachev was initially scheduled to face off against former UFC lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos at UFC 267. However, dos Anjos was forced out of the bout after undergoing surgery last month.
With only one month’s notice, Dan ‘The Hangman’ Hooker stepped in to take dos Anjos’ place. Hooker last competed at UFC 266, where he defeated Nasrat Haqparast via unanimous decision.
Rather than fly back to his home country of New Zealand, Hooker made the decision to stay in the U.S. After a short camp, he’ll travel to Abu Dhabi for this Saturday’s event.
Both men have plenty to gain from a win here. Islam Makhachev may well be looking at a title shot should he defeat Hooker. However, ‘The Hangman’ will be no walk in the park. Should he be victorious, he will also instantly be thrown into the top five of the division.
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Islam Makhachev is a relatively heavy favorite going into the fight, due to both the short-notice nature of the matchup on Hooker’s side, as well as the way the two competitors’ skills compare. Despite that, Dan Hooker is an elite competitor who can never be counted out.