Thiago Moises: Islam Makhachev deserves the hype, but I plan on surprising everyone


OCONUT CREEK, Fla. – Thiago Moises is planning on stealing Islam Makhachev’s hype.

Moises (15-4 MMA, 4-2 UFC) meets Makhachev (19-1 MMA, 8-1 UFC) at UFC Fight Night on July 17, a massive opportunity to catapult his career to the next level.

That’s because Makhachev is being touted as a future champion and has looked dominant since dropping his first and only career setback in 2015. A protege of former UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, Makhachev has struggled to net a top-ranked opponent and Moises is more than happy to rise to the occasion instead.

“I want a big name right now,” Moises told MMA Junkie. “I think this is the right time for me because I’m coming off a three-fight winning streak. Just three good names, three good guys so I think this step up for me is the right time.”

Moises has been making a name of his own, picking up three big wins over Michael Johnson, Bobby Green, and Alexander Hernandez. Though Makhachev is a significant step up in competition, Moises thinks has the tools to beat him.

“Yeah I think he deserves all the hype,” Moises said. “He’s really good, he’s well-rounded, great wrestling, great jiu-jitsu, very strong opponent, good cardio. So I think he deserves all the hype, but I’m ready to fight him. I’m well-rounded as well, I’m good everywhere so I think it’s gonna be a great fight.”

A win for Moises would do big things for his career and he fully intends on capitalizing on the opportunity. He knows Makhachev is good, but he thinks he’s being heavily underestimated.

“After beating him, I think I’m gonna be close to the mix to fight for the title,” Moises said. “Just a couple more fights. Everybody’s talking about him, ‘ah this guy is gonna fight for the title,’ but he needs to fight me next, and I’m not an easy fight also as people think. I’m gonna surprise a lot of people.”