Thoughts on Islam Makhachev vs. Drew Dober

Last weekend, superior Dagestan fighter Islam Makhachev recorded an incredible arm triangle submission when fighting Drew Dober in the highly-anticipated UFC 259 fight in Las Vegas. A protégé of a retired UFC champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, Islam is a dominant lightweight boxer from Dagestan, Russia.

While the show was staged behind closed doors on Saturdays without the usual crowd cheering their favorite fighter, Makhachev once again proved how dominant he could be in every minute of each round. Makhachev was especially superior in the second round, with the judge awarding him a 10-8 score. Even better, he managed to make Dober tap in the third round as fans wagered on the action and had the benefits of playing games in online casino Canada from home.

Makhachev established authority early in the fight, constantly seeking takedowns right from the beginning of every round. His action on the mat was also great, and he engineered submission attempts with every opportunity he got. However, it was his arm-triangle choke that ultimately finished Dober, ending his three-fight winning streak.

With this win, Makhachev punctuated his reputation as a dominant 155-pound problem that only a few lightweight fighters can be able to hold for a minute. The MMA fighter underlined his dominance with 102 strikes coming from a total of 119 attempts. That was an 86% accuracy rate, and he succeeded with three out of his four takedowns. More importantly, Makhachev remained in control for over nine minutes.

According to Makhachev’s after-fight statement, the Dagestan fighter tried to finish his opponent in the first round, but Dober proved to be a strong fighter. His crazy power was almost intimidating, although Makhachev’s plan to tire him and finish him off during the third round paid off. That was the 19th Pro MMA win for Makhachev, recording eight decisions, eight submissions, and three knockouts against a single loss. However, the Russian MMA fighter is only set to fight two more times this year.

Following the loss, Dober gave the press a classy statement, revealing that he gave the fight his best, although he got outmatched by one of the world’s best in this class. However, Dober says he’ll take the failure to improve his fighting skills, and he’d fight the Russian again if given the opportunity as he enjoyed the experience.

Before the loss, Dober’s impressive win over Alexander Hernandez, Polo Reyes, and Nasrat Haqparast made him very attractive to punters. However, these fights came after a submission loss against Beneil Dariush. Nonetheless, Dober has recorded other impressive wins over fighters like Josh Burkman, Frank Camacho, Jamie Varner, and Scott Holtzman.

On the other hand, Makhachev is now on his seven-win straight, with major highlights including wins over Arma Tsarukyan, Davi Ramos, Gleison Tibau ad Kaja Johnson. As a result, the log-time training partner of Khaib Nurmagomedov is widely considered the future champion, with the victory of Doer going a long way to cementing that perception. However, Makhachev is still looking forward to facing Khabib’s elusive rival Tony Ferguson if given a chance and has vowed to help him retire.

A huge fan of MMA since the 'Dark Ages' of the UFC, I pride myself on keeping up-to-date on all news and developments surrounding the sport. I've watched it grow from shunned spectacle to the lofty position it enjoys now, and it's been a great ride!