Cormier - who had a former wrestler during his Olympic career - experienced some of the best wrestlers in the world from Dagestan, including Abdulrashid Sadulaev - a two-time Olympic winner and four-time world champion.
"It's new to the world, but it's not new to us, the guys that have done international wrestling, guys that have been around the world championships," Cormier told MMA Fighting about the talent of Dagestani athletes.
"When I got my third place medal at the worlds, Russia had maybe five world champs or six, and they had a third [place]. Most of those guys were from Dagestan.
"They just know how to wrestle. I knew the moment I saw Khabib and then I saw Islam, I was like uh-oh, the Dagestanis are starting to do mixed martial arts, it's a problem for the world. That's absolutely what has happened."
Makhachev - who currently has a record of 22-1 and is currently on a 10-fight winning run in the UFC - is one of the most feared fighters in the world and has Khabib working with him as a coach.
Cormier is backing the 30-year-old to follow in the footsteps of Khabib by winning the world title at 155lbs.
"He's the best fighter in the world at that weight class. His abilities are just second to none."
"Let me tell you something, this Islam Makhachev is crazy," Cormier added.
"I tell him [in the gym], 'Hey, my guy took you down in practice,' and he goes, 'Brother, bring (Olympic champion) Jordan Burroughs (to face me), this will be a good match.' He's so sure of his wrestling. I love Islam."