Khabib Nurmagomedov's BiographyKhabib Abdulmanapovich Nurmagomedov, hailing from Dagestan, is a mixed martial arts fighter affectionately nicknamed "The Eagle" among his peers. He competed in the UFC's lightweight division. After defeating Al Iaquinta in April 2018, he made history as the first Russian in the UFC to clinch a championship title. Following a victory over Justin Gaethje in October 2020, he retired undefeated after 29 bouts.
Early Life and AdolescenceKhabib was born on September 20, 1988, into a traditional Avar family from the quaint Dagestani mountain village of Sildi. The local men predominantly hailed from wrestling lineages, and Khabib's kin were no exception. His father, Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov, was a freestyle wrestling maestro. His paternal uncle was the 1992 Sambo world champion, while an uncle on his mother's side was a renowned freestyle wrestler.
"Sport is a job too," his father would say, "and a demanding one at that. A professional athlete should never be preoccupied with making ends meet; otherwise, they'll never reach the pinnacle of their potential."
As Khabib matured and became more formidable, he began to distinguish himself from his peers. His father and coach discerned that his eldest son was a prodigious talent, destined to make a global mark. While Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov had previously envisioned Khabib as a future judo champion on the tatami, he then recognized Khabib's prospective dominance in mixed martial arts. Moreover, Khabib himself had a growing affinity for combat sambo.
Sporting Achievements and FightsAt the age of 23, Nurmagomedov became the youngest Russian fighter in UFC history. Americans immediately recognized Khabib's prowess, inviting the promising athlete to join their organization. From then on, the worthy son of the Avar people, known by the moniker "The Eagle," graced the world's main rings with numerous bouts, each culminating in his victory. A shepherd's hat became emblematic of the fighter, symbolizing his pride in his heritage and his loyalty to the traditions of the Avars. He confidently dispatched formidable opponents such as Gleison Tibau (July 2012), Kamal Shalorus (January 2012), and Thiago Tavares (January 2013), employing his signature chokehold to ensure victory.
The years 2014-15 proved challenging for the athlete: grappling with multiple severe injuries, he was sidelined, though he retained his undefeated status. In 2016, he made a triumphant return to the ring, decisively prevailing over Darrell Horcher.
His bout against Michael Johnson reaffirmed the Russian fighter's elite preparation: the American underestimated his opponent and suffered a defeat in the third round. The referee was compelled to halt the fight as Khabib applied a submission hold—Johnson couldn't even signal for the bout's termination.
Much ado surrounded the fight between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor, the audacious Irishman known as "The Notorious." Immediately after his victory over Michael Johnson, even before he had left the ring, Nurmagomedov challenged him, dubbing him the "Irish chicken." McGregor didn't indulge in trash talk, instead hinting that Nurmagomedov needed to earn a fight against him. However, by the summer of 2017, he changed his tune. While ardently preparing for a boxing match against Floyd Mayweather, McGregor expressed a desire to face his rival in Russia. Later, Khabib revealed in an interview that there was a high probability of them clashing in December 2017.
But the drama didn't end with the match. Before the judges could announce their verdict, Nurmagomedov leaped out of the octagon into the crowd, resulting in a skirmish with Dillon Danis, McGregor's jiu-jitsu coach. Concurrently, two individuals from Khabib's team confronted McGregor. Law enforcement quickly intervened. Nurmagomedov's victory was recognized, but three of his associates were taken into custody. McGregor chose not to press charges and later tweeted his desire for a rematch.
On September 7th, 2019, Nurmagomedov took on the American, Dustin Poirier, in the ring. In the third round, Khabib employed his trademark chokehold, leading Poirier to signal for the match to end.
Khabib Nurmagomedov's Personal LifeKhabib adheres to Islam, refrains from drinking and smoking, and often embarks on pilgrimages to Mecca with his brother, strictly observing all the fundamental precepts of the Quran, including abstaining from fighting during Ramadan.
For me, fasting during Ramadan is more important than any fight.He remains reticent about his private life, which is why the world has yet to see the face of his wife, Patimat, always veiled behind a dense niqab.
Many celebrities, including the head of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov, are friends with the fighter. In the spring of 2017, Nurmagomedov visited famed boxer Mike Tyson. The athletes exchanged gifts: Tyson bestowed an autographed glove, while Khabib gifted him a papakha, akin to his own.
Khabib Nurmagomedov NowIn April 2020, a fight between Nurmagomedov and Ferguson was scheduled. However, due to the coronavirus pandemic, it was cancelled. Following Ferguson's defeat against Justin Gaethje, a new opponent emerged for the Dagestani.
In April, Khabib's father and main coach was hospitalized with pneumonia. It was later revealed that he had contracted the coronavirus. Initially treated in Dagestan, local specialists couldn't find the appropriate course of action, so Abdulmanap was transferred to Moscow. On May 13th, media outlets reported that the coach had fallen into a coma, with even close family being denied visitation.
In 2008, when I began this journey, and later in 2012 when I signed with the UFC, nobody believed. I'm just a simple guy from a mountain village, yet Google claims I'm the most discussed individual. But remember, if you have parents, always stay close to them. You never know what can happen. Now, I have only my mother left, and I want to be by her side.Following Khabib's victory, the streets of Dagestan were flooded with joyous residents. They blocked roads, launched fireworks, and danced the Lezginka. Many wore the papakhas, just like Khabib.