Nurmagomedov in 2019
|Born||20 September 1988|
Sildi, Dagestan ASSR, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union
(now Sildi, Dagestan, Russia)
|Other names||The Eagle|
|Residence||Makhachkala, Dagestan, Russia|
|Height||5 ft 10 in (178 cm)|
|Weight||155 lb (70 kg; 11 st 1 lb)|
|Division||Lightweight (2008–2010, 2012–2020) |
|Reach||70 in (178 cm)|
|Fighting out of||Makhachkala, Dagestan, Russia |
San Jose, California, United States
|Team||American Kickboxing Academy|
|Rank||Black belt in Judo |
International Master of Sport in Judo
International Master of Sport in Sambo
International Master of Sport in Army Hand-to-Hand Combat
International Master of Sport in Pankration
|Mixed martial arts record|
|Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog|
Khabib Abdulmanapovich Nurmagomedov, (Russian: Хабиб Абдулманапович Нурмагомедов; born 20 September 1988) is a Russian former mixed martial artist. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest fighters in mixed martial arts history. He notably competed in the lightweight division of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), where he is the longest-reigning UFC Lightweight Champion, having held the title since April 2018. With 29 wins and no losses, he retired with an undefeated record. Shortly after retirement, he earned the #1 spot on the UFC men's pound-for-pound rankings. As of 26 October 2020, he is #1 in the UFC men's pound-for-pound rankings. and Fight Matrix ranks him as the #1 lightweight of all time.
An ethnic Avar hailing from the republic of Dagestan in Russia, Nurmagomedov is the first Muslim to win a UFC title. A two-time Combat Sambo World Champion, he is trained in sambo, judo, and wrestling. His style of grappling has made him one of the most dominant athletes in the history of MMA. As of October 2020, Nurmagomedov is the most-followed Russian celebrity on Instagram, with more than 24 million followers.
Nurmagomedov was born to an Avar family on 20 September 1988, in the village of Sildi in Tsumadinsky District of the Dagestan ASSR, an autonomous republic within the Russian SFSR, Soviet Union, before moving to Makhachkala, the capital of Dagestan, in his childhood. He has an older brother, Magomed, and younger sister, Amina. His father's family had moved from Sildi, Tsumadinsky District, to Kirovaul, where his father converted the ground floor of their two-storey building into a gym. Nurmagomedov grew up in the household with his siblings and cousins. His interest in martial arts began when watching students training at the gym.
As is common with many children in Dagestan, he began wrestling from an early age: he started at the age of eight under the tutelage of his father Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov. A decorated athlete and a veteran of the Soviet Army, his father had also wrestled from an early age, before undergoing training in judo and sambo in the military. Khabib's training as a child included wrestling a bear when he was nine years old.
In 2001, his family moved to Makhachkala, where he trained in wrestling from the age of 12, and judo from 15. He resumed training in combat sambo, under his father, at 17. According to Nurmagomedov, the transition from wrestling to judo was difficult, but his father wanted him to get used to competing in a gi jacket. Abdulmanap was a senior coach for the combat sambo national team in the Republic of Dagestan, training several athletes in sambo in Makhachkala, Russia. Nurmagomedov frequently got into street fights in his youth, before focusing his attention on mixed martial arts.
Nurmagomedov made his professional MMA debut in September 2008 and compiled four wins in under a month. On 11 October, he became the inaugural Atrium Cup tournament champion, having defeated his three opponents at the Moscow event. Over the next three years he went undefeated, finishing 11 out of 12 opponents. These included a first-round armbar finish of future Bellator title challenger Shahbulat Shamhalaev, which marked his M-1 Global debut. In 2011, he competed in seven fights for the ProFC promotion, all of which he won by TKO or submission.
A 16–0 record in the regional circuits of Russia and Ukraine was enough to get a call up from the UFC. Later, Khabib's father revealed in an interview that due to a contract dispute with ProFC they had 11 court cases contesting the legitimacy of Khabib's UFC contract. After losing six and winning five cases, they reached an agreement and Khabib was able to continue his career.
In late 2011, Nurmagomedov signed a six-fight deal to compete in the UFC's lightweight division.
Nurmagomedov's next fight was against Thiago Tavares on 19 January 2013 at UFC on FX 7. He won via KO in the first round. After the fight, Tavares tested positive for Drostanolone, an anabolic steroid, and received a 9-month suspension.
Nurmagomedov defeated Abel Trujillo on 25 May 2013 at UFC 160 via unanimous decision. At the weigh-ins, Nurmagomedov came in over the permitted limit, weighing in at 158.5 lb. He was given two hours to cut to the lightweight maximum of 156 pounds, but elected instead to surrender a percentage of his fight purse to Trujillo and the bout was contested at a catchweight. In the course of the fight, Nurmagomedov set a new UFC record for the most takedowns in a single fight, with 21 successful takedowns out of 28 attempts.
In his fifth UFC fight, on 21 September 2013 at UFC 165, Nurmagomedov faced Pat Healy. He won the fight via unanimous decision. Attending his first post-event press conference, UFC president Dana White praised the relative newcomer stating, "That slam, when he just scoops him up and slams him, Matt Hughes style. That reminded me of the old Matt Hughes where he would run a guy across the Octagon and slam him. The kid is exciting. We’re probably going to do big things with this kid."
In December, Nurmagomedov challenged Gilbert Melendez on social media, with the two then expected to face off at UFC 170 on 22 February 2014. However, the bout was cancelled for undisclosed reasons, and Melendez was replaced by Nate Diaz. However, the match-up was cancelled as Diaz turned the bout down. Nurmagomedov expressed his disappointment, appearing on The MMA Hour, "If they say that they're willing to fight the best, they should fight the best. If they want, I'll take them both at once in the cage."
Nurmagomedov was briefly linked to a bout with Donald Cerrone on 27 September 2014 at UFC 178. However, the pairing was quickly scrapped after it was revealed that Nurmagomedov had suffered a knee injury. He was later expected to face Cerrone on 23 May 2015, at UFC 187. However, Nurmagomedov pulled out of the bout on 30 April due to a recurring knee injury and was replaced by John Makdessi.
Nurmagomedov was expected to face Tony Ferguson on 11 December 2015 at The Ultimate Fighter 22 Finale. However, Nurmagomedov pulled out of the fight in late October, citing another injury, and was replaced by Edson Barboza.
The bout with Ferguson was rescheduled for 16 April 2016 at UFC on Fox 19. However, on 5 April, Ferguson pulled out of the bout due to a lung issue. Ferguson was replaced by promotional newcomer Darrell Horcher at a catchweight of 160 lb. Nurmagomedov won the one-sided fight by TKO in the second round.
In September, Nurmagomedov signed two contracts for a title shot against the reigning UFC Lightweight Champion, Eddie Alvarez, on either the UFC 205 or the UFC 206 fight card, with Dana White confirming the bout for UFC 205. However, on 26 September, the UFC announced that Alvarez would instead be defending the title against Conor McGregor. Nurmagomedov voiced his displeasure on social media, calling Alvarez a "bullshit champ" for refusing the fight and opting for a bout with McGregor instead, accusing the UFC of being a "freak show".
In lieu of a title shot, Nurmagomedov next faced Michael Johnson on 12 November 2016 at UFC 205. Nurmagomedov dominated the fight and was heard telling Dana White to give him a title shot as he mauled Johnson, winning via submission in the third round.
The bout with Ferguson was scheduled for a third time at UFC 209 on 4 March 2017 for the interim Lightweight Championship. Nurmagomedov, however, fell ill because of a botched weight cut, and the bout was cancelled as a result.
Nurmagomedov faced Edson Barboza on 30 December 2017 at UFC 219. Nurmagomedov dominated all three rounds, taking Barboza down repeatedly and dominating the fight with ground and pound. He won the fight by unanimous decision. This win also earned him his first Performance of the Night bonus.
A bout with Ferguson had been scheduled for the fourth time and was expected to take place on 7 April 2018 at UFC 223. However, on 1 April 2018, it was reported that Ferguson had injured his knee and was to be replaced by Max Holloway. On 6 April, Holloway was pulled from the fight after the New York State Athletic Commission (NYSAC) declared him unfit to compete due to extreme weight cutting, and replaced by Al Iaquinta. Iaquinta's inclusion in the fight was controversial: the UFC's first choice to replace Holloway, Anthony Pettis, weighed in 0.2 pounds over the championship limit of 155 pounds and did not choose to re-weigh, and its second choice, Paul Felder, was rejected by NYSAC because he was not in the UFC's rankings at the time of the fight. Only Nurmagomedov was eligible to win the championship, as Iaquinta also weighed in 0.2 pounds over the championship weight limit. Nurmagomedov dominated the fight and won via unanimous decision to become the UFC Lightweight Champion.
On Friday, 3 August 2018, the UFC announced that Nurmagomedov would make his first defence of his lightweight title against Conor McGregor at UFC 229 on 6 October in Las Vegas. In the fight, Nurmagomedov defeated McGregor in the fourth round via submission. After the contest, Nurmagomedov scaled the Octagon and tried to attack McGregor's teammate Dillon Danis, which resulted in a brawl between the two teams. The event drew 2.4 million pay-per-view buys, the most ever for an MMA event.
In June 2019, Nurmagomedov signed a new multi-fight contract with the UFC. In the first fight of his new deal, Nurmagomedov made the second defence of his title against interim lightweight champion Dustin Poirier on 7 September 2019 in the main event at UFC 242. He won the fight via a rear-naked choke submission in the third round. The win unified both titles and earned Nurmagomedov his second Performance of the Night bonus award. He and Poirier swapped shirts after the fight as a show of respect. In his post-fight interview Nurmagomedov said that he would be selling the shirt Poirier gave him and donating the proceeds to Poirier's charity. The shirt sold for $100,000 and the donation was matched by UFC president Dana White.
Nurmagomedov was scheduled to defend his title against Tony Ferguson on 18 April 2020 at UFC 249. This was the fifth time that a fight between the pair had been scheduled, and both fighters were on 12-fight win streaks in the UFC. However, Nurmagomedov was unable to leave Russia because of restricted air travel due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and so was removed from the card. Ferguson instead faced top contender Justin Gaethje for the interim UFC Lightweight Championship at UFC 249, which was postponed to 9 May. Gaethje won the fight by fifth-round TKO, thus ending Ferguson's win streak and securing himself a shot at the undisputed title against Nurmagomedov.
Nurmagomedov faced Gaethje in a unification bout on 24 October 2020 in the main event at UFC 254. Nurmagomedov won the fight via technical submission with a triangle choke in the second round to defend and re-unify the UFC Lightweight Championship. In his post-fight interview, Nurmagomedov announced his retirement from mixed martial arts. He explained that he had promised his mother that he would not continue to fight without his late father, "No way I’m going to come here without my father. It was first time after what happened with my father, when UFC called me about Justin, I talk with my mother three days. She doesn’t want me to go fight without my father but I promised her it was going to be my last fight. If I give my word, I have to follow this. It was my last fight here.” This win earned him the Performance of the Night award. Daniel Cormier claimed in an interview, after the fight, that Khabib had said he chose the triangle choke in favor of an arm bar in order to prevent Gaethje from being injured.
Nurmagomedov employs a wrestling-based style of relentless pressure against his opponents, often described as "mauling". Using a variety of wrestling and judo/sambo takedowns, he forces his opponents against the cage, and ties up their legs and an arm to prevent them from escaping. From this position, he exhausts his opponents by forcing his weight against them and attacks with measured strikes his opponents are often unable to defend. As of UFC 242, eighteen of his twenty-eight victories had come by way of either TKO/KO or submission. UFC referee Herb Dean stated Nurmagomedov constantly talks to his opponents during fights.
Former three-time UFC Heavyweight Champion and two-time UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Randy Couture praised Nurmagomedov as “brilliant”. MMA Commentator Joe Rogan, a black belt in both 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, said of Nurmagomedov, “He’s the most terrifying lightweight contender in the world,” and “he’s just on such another level [of grappling] that the odds of beating him drop significantly after the first minute-and-a-half.”
Nurmagomedov is a Sunni Muslim. As of 2019, he is a third-year student at the Plekhanov Russian University of Economics. He speaks several languages, including Avar, Russian, English, Turkish, and Arabic. Nurmagomedov frequently wears a papakha hat, part of his Dagestani Avar culture, after fights and during promotional events. He is a friend of the Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, who has received criticism from some quarters for his government's alleged human rights abuses.
Nurmagomedov has trained with SC Bazarganova in Kizilyurt, Dagestan (2012), K-Dojo, AMA Fight Club in Fairfield, New Jersey (2012), Mamishev Fight Team in Saint Petersburg (2012), Fight Spirit Team in Kolpino, St. Petersburg (2013), and KHK MMA Team in Bahrain (2015). In 2016, he co-founded his own team, "Eagles MMA Team", with Ziyavudin Magomedov. He is a fan of Anzhi Makhachkala, Galatasaray, Real Madrid and Liverpool F.C., as well as the Russian national football team.
Nurmagomedov married Patimat in June 2013 and they have three children: a daughter born 1 June 2015, a son born 30 December 2017, His son was named Magomed after Khabib's great-grandfather. and a son born on 22 December 2019. Among Nurmagomedov's cousins is fellow UFC fighter Abubakar Nurmagomedov.
In May 2020, Nurmagomedov's father and long-time trainer Abdulmanap, whom he was very close to, was placed in a medically induced coma after contracting COVID-19 following a heart surgery. He died on 3 July 2020 at a clinic in Moscow, at the age of 57.
On 3 April 2018, Nurmagomedov and fellow fighter Artem Lobov had an altercation, in which Nurmagomedov and his entourage cornered Lobov and slapped him multiple times. Lobov is known to be close to Conor McGregor, with whom Nurmagomedov had verbal altercations and trash talk exchanges. Two days later, on 5 April 2018, during promotional appearances for UFC 223, McGregor and his entourage were let into the Barclays Center by credentialed members of his promotional team. They confronted Nurmagomedov, who was on a bus leaving the arena with "red corner" fighters for UFC 223 on it, including Rose Namajunas, Al Iaquinta, Karolina Kowalkiewicz, Ray Borg, and Michael Chiesa. McGregor ran up alongside the slowly moving bus and then ran past it to grab a metal equipment dolly, which he then threw at the bus's window, before trying to throw other objects in the vicinity. Chiesa and Borg were injured by the shattered glass, and sent to hospital. They were soon removed from the card on the advice of the NYSAC and the UFC's medical team.
McGregor and others involved initially fled the Barclays Center after the incident. UFC president Dana White said there was a warrant out for McGregor's arrest, and the NYPD said McGregor was a person of interest. White claimed McGregor told him via text message: "This had to be done." White said, "You can imagine he's going to be sued beyond belief," and denied suggestions that the violence was a stunt intended to generate interest in the UFC. McGregor later turned himself in to a police station, where he faced three counts of assault and one count of criminal mischief. He was further charged with menacing and reckless endangerment at his arraignment and released on $50,000 bail until 14 June 2018. Under the bail conditions set by the judge, McGregor was allowed to travel without restriction. McGregor later pleaded no contest to a count of disorderly conduct and was ordered to perform five days of community service and attend anger management classes.
On 6 October 2018, following his victory over Conor McGregor at UFC 229, Nurmagomedov jumped over the octagon fence and charged at McGregor's cornerman Dillon Danis. Danis had reportedly shouted insults at Nurmagomedov. Soon afterwards, McGregor and Abubakar Nurmagomedov, Khabib's cousin, attempted to exit the octagon, but a scuffle broke out between them after McGregor punched Abubakar, who then punched him back. McGregor was then attacked from behind inside the octagon by two of Nurmagomedov's cornermen, Zubaira Tukhugov and Esed Emiragaev. Tukhugov, a Chechen fighter, was scheduled to fight on 27 October 2018 at UFC Fight Night: Volkan vs. Smith against Artem Lobov, the McGregor team member who was confronted by Nurmagomedov in April 2018.
Nurmagomedov's payment for the fight was withheld by the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) as a result, pending an investigation into his actions. He appeared at the post-fight interview and apologized to the NSAC, saying he was provoked by McGregor's trash talk and the UFC 223 bus incident, and adding, "You cannot talk about religion. You cannot talk about nation. Guys, you cannot talk about these things. This is very important to me." He later posted on Instagram that he had warned McGregor that he would pay for everything he had done on 6 October. Khabib's father, Abdulmanap, later said he did not hold a grudge towards McGregor and invited him to Russia to train.
The NSAC filed a formal complaint against both Nurmagomedov and McGregor, and on 24 October, the NSAC voted to approve a motion to release half of Nurmagomedov's $2 million fight payout immediately. Both Nurmagomedov and McGregor received indefinite bans until an official hearing would determine the disciplinary outcome of the post-fight brawl. On 29 January 2019, the NSAC announced a nine-month suspension for Nurmagomedov (retroactive to 6 October 2018) and a $500,000 fine. He was eligible to compete again on 6 July 2019. McGregor also received a six-month suspension and $50,000 fine, while Abubakar Nurmagomedov and Zubaira Tukhugov each received 12-month suspensions and fines of $25,000. Khabib Nurmagomedov complained about the NSAC's decisions, and stated he no longer wished to compete in the state of Nevada.
|Professional record breakdown|
|29 matches||29 wins||0 losses|
|Win||29–0||Justin Gaethje||Technical Submission (triangle choke)||UFC 254||24 October 2020||2||1:34||Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates||Defended and unified the UFC Lightweight Championship. Performance of the Night.|
|Win||28–0||Dustin Poirier||Submission (rear-naked choke)||UFC 242||7 September 2019||3||2:06||Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates||Defended and unified the UFC Lightweight Championship. Performance of the Night.|
|Win||27–0||Conor McGregor||Submission (neck crank)||UFC 229||6 October 2018||4||3:03||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States||Defended the UFC Lightweight Championship.|
|Win||26–0||Al Iaquinta||Decision (unanimous)||UFC 223||7 April 2018||5||5:00||Brooklyn, New York, United States||Won the vacant UFC Lightweight Championship.|
|Win||25–0||Edson Barboza||Decision (unanimous)||UFC 219||30 December 2017||3||5:00||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States||Performance of the Night.|
|Win||24–0||Michael Johnson||Submission (kimura)||UFC 205||12 November 2016||3||2:31||New York City, New York, United States|
|Win||23–0||Darrell Horcher||TKO (punches)||UFC on Fox: Teixeira vs. Evans||16 April 2016||2||3:38||Tampa, Florida, United States||Catchweight (160 lb) bout.|
|Win||22–0||Rafael dos Anjos||Decision (unanimous)||UFC on Fox: Werdum vs. Browne||19 April 2014||3||5:00||Orlando, Florida, United States|
|Win||21–0||Pat Healy||Decision (unanimous)||UFC 165||21 September 2013||3||5:00||Toronto, Ontario, Canada|
|Win||20–0||Abel Trujillo||Decision (unanimous)||UFC 160||25 May 2013||3||5:00||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States||Catchweight (158.5 lb) bout; Nurmagomedov missed weight.|
|Win||19–0||Thiago Tavares||KO (punches and elbows)||UFC on FX: Belfort vs. Bisping||19 January 2013||1||1:55||São Paulo, Brazil||Tavares tested positive for drostanolone.|
|Win||18–0||Gleison Tibau||Decision (unanimous)||UFC 148||7 July 2012||3||5:00||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States|
|Win||17–0||Kamal Shalorus||Submission (rear naked choke)||UFC on FX: Guillard vs. Miller||20 January 2012||3||2:08||Nashville, Tennessee, United States||Return to Lightweight.|
|Win||16–0||Arymarcel Santos||TKO (punches)||ProFC 36: Battle on the Caucas||22 October 2011||1||3:33||Khasavyurt, Russia|
|Win||15–0||Vadim Sandulskiy||Submission (triangle choke)||ProFC / GM Fight: Ukraine Cup 3||15 September 2011||1||3:01||Odessa, Ukraine|
|Win||14–0||Khamiz Mamedov||Submission (triangle choke)||ProFC 30: Battle on Don||5 August 2011||1||3:15||Rostov-on-Don, Russia|
|Win||13–0||Kadzhik Abadzhyan||Submission (triangle choke)||ProFC: Union Nation Cup Final||2 July 2011||1||4:28||Rostov-on-Don, Russia|
|Win||12–0||Ashot Shaginyan||TKO (punches)||ProFC: Union Nation Cup 15||5 May 2011||1||2:18||Rostov-on-Don, Russia|
|Win||11–0||Said Khalilov||Submission (kimura)||ProFC: Union Nation Cup 14||9 April 2011||1||3:16||Rostov-on-Don, Russia|
|Win||10–0||Alexander Agafonov||TKO (corner stoppage)||M-1 Selection Ukraine 2010: The Finals||12 February 2011||2||5:00||Kiev, Ukraine|
|Win||9–0||Vitaliy Ostroskiy||TKO (punches)||M-1 Selection Ukraine 2010: Clash of the Titans||18 September 2010||1||4:06||Kiev, Ukraine|
|Win||8–0||Ali Bagov||Decision (unanimous)||Golden Fist Russia||10 June 2010||2||5:00||Moscow, Russia||Return to Welterweight.|
|Win||7–0||Shahbulat Shamhalaev||Submission (armbar)||M-1 Challenge: 2009 Selections 9||3 November 2009||1||4:36||St. Petersburg, Russia||Return to Lightweight.|
|Win||6–0||Eldar Eldarov||TKO (punches)||Tsumada Fighting Championship 3||8 August 2009||2||2:44||Agvali, Russia||Won the Tsumada Fighting Championship 3 Tournament.|
|Win||5–0||Said Akhmed||TKO (punches)||1||2:05||Welterweight debut. Tsumada Fighting Championship 3 Tournament Semi-finals.|
|Win||4–0||Shamil Abdulkerimov||Decision (unanimous)||Pankration Atrium Cup 1||11 October 2008||2||5:00||Moscow, Russia||Won the Pankration Atrium Cup 1 Tournament.|
|Win||3–0||Ramazan Kurbanismailov||Decision (unanimous)||2||5:00||Pankration Atrium Cup 1 Tournament Semi-finals.|
|Win||2–0||Magomed Magomedov||Decision (unanimous)||2||5:00||Pankration Atrium Cup 1 Tournament Quarter-finals.|
|Win||1–0||Vusal Bayramov||Submission (triangle choke)||CSFU: Champions League||13 September 2008||1||2:20||Poltava, Ukraine||Lightweight debut.|
|UFC 223||Khabib vs. Iaquinta||7 April 2018||Barclays Center||Brooklyn, New York, U.S||350,000|
|UFC 229||Khabib vs. McGregor||6 October 2018||T-Mobile Arena||Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S||2,400,000|
|UFC 254||Khabib vs. Gaethje||24 October 2020||Flash Forum||Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates||675,000|
LAST UPDATED: MONDAY, OCT. 26
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Khabib Nurmagomedov.|
| 10th UFC Lightweight Champion
7 April 2018 – present
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