Three-time Olympic champion in Greco-Roman wrestling Alexander Karelin in an interview YouTube- channel Ushataika answered a question about the talent of the Russian champion of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Islam Makhacheva.
“What sport does he represent?” — the former wrestler said about Makhachev. Having learned that the fighter is the world champion in sambo, he stated that Russian sambo wrestlers have always won in this type of competition.
In the fall of 2022 Karelin refused consider MMA a sport and compared wrestling to a mixture of vodka and beer. The athlete added that he does not understand how one can mix the skills gained from practicing different types of martial arts.
Makhachev is the UFC lightweight champion. The last time he defended his championship title was against Australian Alexander Volkanovski. The Russian fought 26 fights, in which he won 25 victories and suffered one defeat. The athlete tops the UFC rankings regardless of weight categories.