Champ Islam Makhachev uses mosque to hide from USADA, claims UFC headliner

Islam Makhachev and Khabib Nurmagomedov were accused of cheating by a UFC headliner.

By: Zane Simon | 2 months ago
Champ Islam Makhachev uses mosque to hide from USADA, claims UFC headliner
IMAGO/AAP/Richard Wainwright

When the UFC first announced its partnership with USADA the news was welcomed by fighters with open arms. Finally, they felt, PEDS would be driven out of MMA. All those other cheaters out there would get what’s coming to them.

The relationship hasn’t exactly soured in the years since, but the bloom is definitely off the rose. Not only are fighters finding themselves suspended for things like tainted supplements and prescription medication, but there’s a growing contingent that don’t believe that USADA is all that effective at catching cheaters.

Recently, bantamweight contender Marlon Vera claimed that beating USADA’s random testing was fairly simple, mostly because of the set schedule he calims the program keeps. In a recent appearance on the JAXXON podcast, Bobby Green revealed his own suspicions about fighters escaping drug tests.

Islam Makhachev Accused of Cheating by Bobby Green

Bobby Green is getting set to take on Grant Dawson in the main event of this week’s UFC card at the Apex facility in Las Vegas, NV. In the buildup to the event, Green took some time to hang out with former UFC champion and PRIDE star Rampage Jackson.

During the interview Green was asked about the upcoming lightweight title fight rematch at UFC 294 between Islam Makhachev and Charles Oliveira. When asked who he thought would win the bout, Green said he had to pick the Dagestani. But not because of his technical wrestling game or fantastic grappling chops.

“Khabib and Islam, they go to a mosque, you know? They train at some place where they can’t be, you can’t go to, USADA can’t come in here,” said Green (ht Sportskeeda). “For months, they can do whatever they wanna do. Actually, Islam got caught for drugs, you know what I mean, when he first came. But he was like ‘Oh, I didn’t know. This is all the stuff that Russia was giving us as we were kids. We were training, and these were naturally part of the training, these were vitamins.”

“He got suspended. I don’t know the full details of how long or whatnot, but yeah, when he first came over. And so he was like ‘This is what they gave us at school. They said it was vitamins, you know? So this is what they do. In our country, we’re a little bit different, where we wanna take everything from everybody. In their country, they wanna make you big, strong, tougher, harder. And so, it’s a little murky.”

Bobby Green and Islam Makhachev Have History

Of course, Bobby Green also has the experience of having fought Islam Makhachev before. The two men met back in 2022 when Green stepped in to replace Beneil Dariush on just 10 days notice for a Fight Night headliner. The result was Green’s first stoppage loss in six years.

Despite the entirely onesided nature of the fight, however, Green still felt like he had what it takes to beat the now-champion, if only given a little more time to prepare.

“Yes, I’ll beat his ***,” Green stated, flatly, when asked if he’d have performed better against Makhachev on a full camp.

Alongside that statement, however, ‘King’ covered a lot of the same ground he brought up in his appearance on Rampage’s podcast. It seems like Makhachev’s drug test failure for Meldonium in 2016 has been a real sore spot for the California native.

“We’re going to keep it all real. If we’re going to do this, let’s just do it,” Bobby Green told Inside Fighting in a 2022 interview. “Y’all talk about all this ****, but y’all don’t talk about Islam… He had a little situation with the drugs, when he first kinda came in. Nobody knows about that shit… He got a video on YouTube saying he got popped for [meldonium] or some **** like that. That’s when all the European guys were getting popped for this shit, you know?

“They asked him and he said, ‘Hey, listen, I got this stuff while I was in Russia, from the school that gave us all vitamins. They just gave us this stuff as part of the training regimen. So all these guys take these supplements since they were kids. They been taking drugs and stuff since they were kids.

“Everybody wondering how he’s so strong, why he’s so [weird noise]? They’ve been taking drugs since they were kids! Russia ain’t always been cool. Nothing against my Russian brothers, but they got banned from the Olympics for cheating. They got banned for cheating.

“We don’t got the same thing in America, it’s more strenuous over here. Over there, that country thinks it’s okay. They’re gonna get behidn their fighters for doing those things. Matter of fact, their school is giving it to them, you know what I’m sayin’?”

As to whether Green thinks that Makhachev was still cheating? At least back at the time of this interview, Green wasn’t willing to go that far.

“No no no, I’m not saying, ‘Now.’ Green backtracked, when asked if he thought Makhachev was a “cheater.” “What I’m saying is, if you gave me steroids from the age of 9, what do you think I’d be? If you gave me steroids from the age of 9, how strong do you think I’d be—just to retain that strength. Everybody talks about cycling and cycling off. These guys just did it and did it and did it and did it.”

Bobby Green Failed a Drug Test in 2022

Of course, it wouldn’t be MMA if there weren’t a great deal of irony at play. In his appearance on the JAXXON podcast, Green talked about his recent drug test failure for DHEA and how that put him in an awkward position as the guy who calls out other people for cheating.

“I’m number one, I’m number one for that **** too,” Green said when Jackson mentoined that he was against fighters doing steroids. “So, when I got popped? Oh, I knew everybody was comin’. Because why? I’m the guy to be like, ‘Awww, you’re a cheater! **** you, you need to cheat.’ Now I’m the guy, and they’re like ‘Ahh, we knew the whole time. That’s why you look like—and that’s why you fast like.’ I’m like, ‘Bro, I don’t need to cheat this ****.'”

Dawson vs. Green takes place this Saturday, October 7th. Alongside the lightweight headliner the card is expected to feature a middleweight bout between Joe Pyfer & Abdul Razak Alhassan, as well as a welterweight bout between Alex Morono & Joaquin Buckley.

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About the author
Zane Simon
Zane Simon

Zane Simon is a senior editor, writer, and podcaster for Bloody Elbow. He has worked with the website since 2013, taking on a wide variety of roles. A lifelong combat sports fan, Zane has trained off & on in both boxing and Muay Thai. He currently hosts the long-running MMA Vivisection podcast, which he took over from Nate Wilcox & Dallas Winston in 2015, as well as the 6th Round podcast, started in 2014. Zane is also responsible for developing and maintaining the ‘List of current UFC fighters’ on Bloody Elbow, a resource he originally developed for Wikipedia in 2010.

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