• Islam Makhachev is headlining UFC Vegas 49 main card against Bobby Green
  • Khabib Nurmagomedov has been mentoring Makhachev leading to the fight
  • Nurmagomedov is not underestimating Makhachev's unranked opponent

Khabib Nurmagomedov is making sure his protégé in the UFC is on the right path.

Islam Makhachev is one of the most sought-after lightweights in the UFC. He is set for one biggest fights of his career, having been slated to headline UFC Vegas 49 against Bobby Green.

Ahead of the fight, the media has been all over Makhachev for photoshoots and interviews.

The Dagestani fighter has complained about being tired of all the media sessions, but his mentor, Nurmagomedov, is not tolerating it.

According to “The Eagle,” media sessions are a staple in the UFC and as one of the promotion’s rising stars, Makhachev has no choice but to deal with it.

“I think this is like [a] big preparation before a fight for the [UFC lightweight] title,” Nurmagomedov said in a UFC Vegas 49 promo video. “I think he (Makhachev) little bit complain about too much media. Like coach Javier [Mendez] said, ‘If you don’t want [interviews], just lose. Nobody gonna come.’ Everything [is] very simple."

"This is your job, brother,” he stressed. “Who cares about you’re tired. Nobody cares. You have to do this.”

Makhachev is currently the No. 4-ranked lightweight contender in the UFC. Green, on the other hand, is unranked.

Despite the advantage, Nurmagomedov reiterated that they are not underestimating Makhachev’s opponent.

“There will be no underestimating from our side,” the former UFC lightweight champion said on Young 'n' Faded MMA Society. “Islam and I have had long discussions about him, watched his fights. Bobby Green won't be underestimated, because he's a very interesting, psychologically strong, tough fighter."

Nurmagomedov has long been an admirer of Makhachev’s work. He has admitted in the past that the 30-year-old could become his successor and a world champion as well.

As early as now, Makhachev is already eyeing a cage encounter opposite reigning UFC lightweight champion Charles Oliveira.

The submission artist is confident his ground game will get the job done once he and “Do Bronx” finally meet inside the octagon.

“It’s going to be a good fight because we almost have the same style. He has good grappling skills, he has good striking, and it’s going to be a good fight,” Makhachev said at the UFC Vegas 49 media day. “I don’t think it’s going to be hard for me. I can take him down easy because I know he doesn’t have good wrestling skills. But his grappling skills (are) high level and we will see who is better there.”

Islam Makhachev
Islam Makhachev inside the octagon against Brazil's Davi Ramos at UFC 242. Getty Images / Francois Nel