Who is Khabib Nurmagomedov?
Khabib Nurmagomedov is a retired Russian mixed martial artist, who competed in several forms like judo, wrestling, sambo etc. He is best known for his record of longest unbeaten record of 29 wins in mixed martial arts (MMA). He fought in the lightweight division of the Ultimate Fight Championship and was the longest-reigning UFC Lightweight Champion, having held the title from April 2018 to March 2021. Trained in martial arts from a young age, he developed an interest in the same seeing his father training his students. He was ranked as an International Master of Sports in Army Hand-to-Hand Combat, an International Master of Sports in Pankration, and a World Champion in combat sambo. Khabib Nurmagomedov won several titles in numerous fields like mixed martial arts, sambo, grappling and pankration. He is the most-followed Russian on Instagram, with more than 28 million followers.
Childhood & Early Life
Khabib Nurmagomedov was born on 20 September 1988 at the Kirovaul village in Kizilyurtovsky District (present day Russia).
He was the second of three children of Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov, a war veteran and decorated athlete. He had an older brother named Mogamed and younger sister Amina.
Khabib Nurmagomedov began undergoing combat training from a young age. In 2001, the family shifted to Makhachkala. Here, he began undertaking training in wrestling and when he turned 15 he also began classes in judo. Though he initially felt that the shift from wrestling to judo was challenging, his father felt it was essential that he learn to compete in a gi jacket.
Upon turning 17, his father began training him in combat sambo. Sometime later, his family shifted to Kiev in Ukraine where he continued his training.
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In September 2008, Khabib Nurmagomedov made his debut in MMA. Within a month he secured four wins, of which three were in a day. The following month, he won the inaugural Atrium Cup tournament championship at Moscow.
In the three years that followed, he won 12 matches, which also included his win at his M-1 Global debut in 2009. Two years later, he went on to compete for the ProFC promotion. The same year he competed in seven fights, of which he won every match.
His impressive record of 16 wins and no losses in the matches eventually caught the attention of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). In 2011, he signed a six fight agreement with The UFC. He entered in the lightweight division.
His debut match was against Kamal Shalorus in early 2012. He won the match in the third round. Other artists whom he has encountered and defeated as part of his UFC matches are Gleison Tibau, Thiago Tavares, Rafael Dos Anjos, Pat Healy and Abel Trujillo, among several others.
During his match against Abel Trujillo in 2013, Khabib Nurmagomedov set a new record of 21 successful takedowns from 27 attempts. The same year he challenged mixed martial artist Gilbert Melendez for a face off match, and the same was set for early 2014. However, the match was later cancelled and then replaced by American professional mixed martial artist Nate Diaz. This bout was also later cancelled due to undisclosed reasons.
Between September 2014 and 2015, he had to cancel several matches due to injuries and ill health. He was affected due to knee and other injuries.
In 2016, he made a comeback with a win at a bout against newcomer Darrell Horcher at the UFC. In November that year he fought against Michael Johnson and won in the third round with a submission from the opponent.
In 2017, Khabib Nurmagomedov was scheduled to fight Tony Ferguson for the interim Lightweight Championship, however he fell ill due to some complications that arose from the weight cut process and the round had to be cancelled.
Khabib Nurmagomedov and Edson Barboza faced each other at UFC 219 on December 30, 2017. Nurmagomedov dominated his opponent in all three rounds of the fight and went on to win by unanimous decision, thereby earning his first Performance of the Night bonus.
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On April 7, 2018, Nurmagomedov faced Al Iaquinta at UFC 223. Nurmagomedov was in his top form and he easily defeated Iaquinta and won the fight via unanimous decision to emerge as the UFC Lightweight Champion.
On October 6, 2018, Khabib Nurmagomedov defended his UFC lightweight title against Conor McGregor at UFC 229 by defeating McGregor in the fourth round via submission.
The last fight of his career was in October 2020, at UFC 254, in which defeated Justin Gaethje. Thereafter, he retired form the sport.
Awards & Achievements
In 2008, Khabib Nurmagomedov was the tournament winner of the Pankration Atrium Cup.
He won the gold medal at the World Combat Sambo Championships in 2009. The same year he won the selections at the M-1 Challenge. He also got the gold medal at the Russian Combat Sambo Championships organized by Combat Sambo Federation of Russia the same year.
In 2010, he won two awards for Sambo; Gold medal in the World Combat Sambo Championships (82 kg) and silver medal in World Cup in Combat Sambo (82 kg).
He earned two titles in 2012 for Grappling in 2012. He was the Men's No-Gi Expert Welterweight Champion as well as the ADCC Rules No-Gi Expert Welterweight Champion.
He won the 2013 Staredown of the Year by Fightbooth.com. He was named the 2013 Breakthrough Fighter of the Year by Sherdog.com.
In 2016, he was given the title ‘Comeback Fighter of the Year by Sherdog.com. The same year he won the title International Fighter of the Year at the World MMA Awards.
Khabib Nurmagomedov has the record of most takedowns in a single Ultimate Fighting Championship. His record is 21 takedowns in 27 attempts.
Family & Personal Life
Khabib Nurmagomedov got married in 2013. He has not revealed the name of his wife. He has two children, a daughter, who was born in 2015, and a son, who was born in 2017.
Khabib Nurmagomedov is also called ‘The Eagle’.
He is a fan of the football club Anzhi Makhachkala.
Mixed martial artist, Shamil Zavurov, is his second cousin.
Around 2014, in a video, Khabib Nurmagomedov was seen wrestling a bear cub in his hometown in Dagestan.