Quick facts about Khabib Nurmagomedov
Birthplace: Sildi, Dagestan ASSR, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union
Residence: Makhachkala, Dagestan, Russia
Nickname: The Eagle’
Division: Lightweight (2008–present); Welterweight (2009–11)
Style: Combat sambo
Mixed Martial Arts Record: 28 fights – won 28 (8 by KO, 10 by submission, 10 by decision), lost 0
Titles: UFC Lightweight Championship (current)
The coronavirus pandemic has caused the sporting world to grind to a halt, but a mixed martial arts (MMA) blockbuster remains on the calendar. UFC 249 was scheduled to go ahead on 18 April and was to be headlined by a UFC Lightweight Championship bout between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson.
Russian veteran Nurmagomedov was set to defend the UFC Lightweight Championship title for the third time, as well as aiming to extend his unbeaten 28–0 career record, but COVID-19 travel restrictions ruled him out of appearing at UFC 249, which has since been scrapped all together.
Khabib Nurmagomedov career summary
Soviet Union–born Khabib Nurmagomedov progressed to the world of professional MMA after gaining a grounding in wrestling, judo and sambo (a Russian martial art and combat sport).
Nurmagomedov made his pro MMA debut in 2008 – a week before his 20th birthday – and defeated Vusal Bayramov by submission (triangle choke) in Poltava, Ukraine. He also won gold medals at the 2009 and 2010 Combat Sambo World Championships.
Joining the UFC
After compiling an impressive 16–0 record, including stints in the M-1 Global and ProFC promotions, Nurmagomedov signed a six-fight deal with UFC to compete in the lightweight division.
He made his UFC debut in January 2012, beating Kamal Shalorus by submission (rear naked choke) at UFC on FX 1 in Nashville. In his fourth UFC fight, against Abel Trujillo in May 2013, Nurmagomedov set a UFC record for the most takedowns in a single fight, with 21, before winning by unanimous decision.
UFC Lightweight Champion
Nurmagomedov signed up for a title challenge against UFC Lightweight Champion Eddie Alvarez for late 2016, but soon afterwards the UFC controversially announced Alvarez would instead defend the title against Conor McGregor.
A bout was scheduled between interim champion Tony Ferguson and Nurmagomedov for the UFC Lightweight Championship in April 2018, but Ferguson withdrew due to a knee injury and replacement Max Holloway was deemed medically unfit. Nurmagomedov eventually faced Al Iaquinta at UFC 223 and dominated the fight, winning by unanimous decision to be crowned the new UFC Lightweight Champion. He became the first Muslim to win a UFC Championship in any weight division.
Khabib Nurmagomedov’s first UFC Lightweight Championship defence was in October 2018, against Conor McGregor at UFC 229 in Las Vegas. The scene was already set for a bitter grudge match, with Nurmagomedov among several fighters on the bus infamously attacked by McGregor and his crew prior to UFC 223.
It was billed as arguably the biggest bout in UFC history – duly setting new records for live attendance and pay-per-view purchases – and did not disappoint. Nurmagomedov won via a fourth-round submission, with McGregor tapping out after becoming caught in a neck crank. The fight was overshadowed by its chaotic aftermath, though, with Nurmagomedov scaling the octagon cage to attack members of McGregor’s team, who had allegedly taunted the Russian with slurs targeting his family, heritage and religion.
The rivalry continued to simmer into 2019 as McGregor goaded the champ on social media, calling for a rematch and making disparaging remarks about Khabib Nurmagomedov’s wife, Patimat.
The current day
Khabib Nurmagomedov’s last fight was another successful title defence against Dustin Poirier in September 2019 at UFC 242 in Abu Dhabi, again by submission (rear naked choke). Khabib Nurmagomedov’s next fight was scheduled for 18 April at UFC 249 against Tony Ferguson – a long-awaited battle after the duo’s previous four proposed encounters were all scuppered by injury. But Nurmagomedov confirmed he would not appear at UFC 249 (which has since been cancelled altogether) due to coronavirus-related travel restrictions.
Khabib Nurmagomedov’s record stands at 28 fights for 28 wins. He currently sits second on the UFC’s pound-for-pound rankings and was recently named at number eight in MMA-focused website Tapology’s list of the UFC’s 100 greatest-ever fighters.
Khabib Nurmagomedov’s net worth is an estimated $30 million. Khabib Nurmagomedov’s hat, a distinctive wool hat known as a papakha, is one of his trademarks.
Khabib Nurmagomedov’s statistics
Keep these key stats in mind if you plan on placing a bet on The Eagle in his next fight.
- Khabib Nurmagomedov’s professional MMA record is 28–0. His 12–0 record in the UFC is the longest active streak in the promotion – and just five short of Anderson Silva’s record of 16 straight wins.
- Just two of Nurmagomedov’s 12 UFC wins have come by knockout.
- Three of Nurmagomedov’s last five wins came by way of submission, the other two via unanimous decision.
- Nurmagomedov has only stopped his opponent – by knockout or submission – before the third round twice in 12 UFC wins.
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Khabib Nurmagomedov’s status as an all-time UFC great is unquestioned, with no opponent yet to get the better of his dominant grappling style. While he is yet to take on some of the UFC’s biggest names, Nurmagomedov’s high-profile defeat of Conor McGregor confirmed his elite standing in the sport.
Sportsbet has betting options on a wide range of UFC markets and will comprehensively cover Khabib Nurmagomedov’s next UFC Lightweight Championship defence when it eventuates.