Since his arrival in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) in 2012, Khabib Nurmagomedov has been on a meteoric rise to the top of the lightweight division. This Russian fighter is a throwback to the old-school warriors who dominated their opponents with wrestling and grappling skills. In this biography, we will take a closer look at Khabib’s life and career and see what makes him one of the most dangerous fighters in UFC history.
Khabib was born on September 20, 1988, in the village of Kirovaul, in Dagestan, Russia. Growing up in a remote corner of the world, Khabib learned to hunt and farm at an early age. He also developed a love for combat sports, particularly sambo and judo. Khabib’s father, Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov, was a well-known coach in Dagestan, and he instilled a strong work ethic in his son from an early age. Khabib would often accompany his father to the local judo club, and it was here that he first developed his grappling skills.
There is a well-known video of Khabib wrestling a young bear when he was just 11 years old. This video has become something of a legend, and it speaks to Khabib’s fearlessness. When most people see a bear, they run the other way. Khabib saw the bear as a challenge, and he went right after it. Dagestani fighters are truly built different. This kind of mentality would serve him well in his future career.
In 2004, he made the switch to mixed martial arts (MMA) and soon thereafter began compiling an impressive undefeated streak.
The Father Figure
One of the biggest influences on Khabibs successful career was the influence of his father Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov. Abdulmanap was a highly decorated wrestler himself, and he instilled the importance of discipline, hard work, and respect in his son from an early age. Khabib has credited his father as being the biggest influence on his career, and it is clear that without Abdulmanaps guidance, Khabib would not be the fighter he is today.
Khabibs UFC Career
Khabib made his UFC debut in 2012 with a first-round submission victory over Kamal Shalorus. He would go on to win his next eight fights inside the Octagon, including wins over top contenders like Donald Cerrone and Rafael dos Anjos.
In 2018, Khabib finally got his chance to fight for the UFC lightweight title, and he made the most of it, dominating Al Iaquinta to become the undisputed champion.
Khabib “Drowning” His Opponents
One of Khabib’s trademark moves is what is known as the “drowning” technique, which he used to great effect against Conor McGregor at UFC 229. Khabib would take McGregor down and then transition to mount, where he would rain down a series of punches and elbows until the referee was forced to step in and stop the fight. This move has become synonymous with Khabib’s fighting style, and it is one that will be remembered for years to come.
Khabib fought many excellent fighters such as Edson Barbosa, Dustin Poirier, Conor McGregor, and Justin Gaethje. Khabibs fight against Justin Gaethje was one of Khabibs best fights. Khabib fought a very technical and strategic fight.
Khabib outclassed Justin almost in every aspect of the game. Khabib won the fight by submission in the second round via triangle choke. This win cemented Khabib as one of, if not the greatest MMA fighter of all time.
Khabib vs. Conor McGregor: A Bitter Rivalry
Khabib’s biggest career moment came at UFC 229 in 2018, when he faced off against the brash and outspoken Conor McGregor. This fight was hyped up to be one of the biggest grudge matches in UFC history, and it did not disappoint. Khabib dominated McGregor from start to finish, eventually winning by fourth-round submission. This fight gave us one of Khabibs most famous lines during his UFC career. While manhandling McGregor, he was throwing punches and telling him: “Let’s talk now,” referencing to McGregors antics and taunts during the build-up for the fight.
However, the post-fight antics turned this into one of the most controversial fights in UFC history. Khabib jumped out of the Octagon and attacked McGregor’s cornerman, Dillon Danis, sparking a massive brawl between both teams. Khabib was suspended and fined for his actions, but this only added fuel to the fire of his rivalry with McGregor.
Khabib vs. Tony Ferguson: A Tragedy For All UFC Fans
In early 2020, Khabib was scheduled to face Tony Ferguson in a highly anticipated title unification bout. This fight had been postponed four times previously due to injuries, but this time it seemed like both men were finally healthy and ready to go.
However, just days before the event, Khabib announced that he would not be able to compete due to personal reasons. It was later revealed that Khabib’s father had passed away, and the fighter decided to fly back home to Dagestan to be with his family. This left Ferguson without an opponent, and the UFC was forced to cancel the event entirely.
Tony was touted as one of the few who could actually fight and win vs. Khabib due to the fact that Tony was not only very unpredictable but was also a highly skilled wrestler with a very good BJJ background who loved fighting off his back.
After his dominant win over Justin Gaethje at UFC 254 in October 2020, Khabib announced his retirement from mixed martial arts. Khabib finishes his career with a perfect 29-0 record, and he leaves the sport as one of the pound-for-pound best fighters in the world. While we may never see Khabib compete again, his legacy will certainly live on in the UFC.
There is no doubt that Khabib Nurmagomedov is one of the best fighters in UFC history. His combination of skill, technique, and heart make him a dangerous opponent for anyone in the lightweight division. Khabib has already cemented his place among the all-time greats, and he shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon by continuing to promote the sport through his Eagle FC promotion. Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed this biography of Khabib Nurmagomedov. Be sure to check out my other blog posts on UFC fighters, past and present. Until next time! Take care!