He competed in the lightweight division of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) a two-time Combat Sambo World Champion. Where he was the longest-reigning UFC Lightweight Champion, having held the title from April 2018 to March 2021. With 29 wins and no losses, he retired with an undefeated record.
A two-time Combat Sambo World Champion, Nurmagomedov has a background in the disciplines of sambo, judo and wrestling. He is widely regarded as the greatest lightweight in the history of mixed martial arts. Nurmagomedov was ranked #1 in the UFC men's pound-for-pound rankings at the time of his retirement, until being removed following his title vacation in March 2021. Fight Matrix ranks him as the #1 lightweight of all time.
Hailing from the Republic of Dagestan in Russia, Nurmagomedov is the first Muslim to win a UFC title. He is the most-followed Russian on Instagram, with more than 32 million followers as of December 2021. He is also a mixed martial arts (MMA) promoter, known for promoting the Eagle Fighting Championship (EFC). Since retirement, he has also been a mixed martial arts coach and cornerman. In 2021, he signed a contract to play association football for Russian team FC Legion Dynamo.
Khabib Abdulmanapovich Nurmagomedov was born to an Avar family on 20 September 1988, in the village of Sildi in the Tsumadinsky District of the Dagestan ASSR, an autonomous republic within the Russian SFSR, Soviet Union. He has an older brother, Magomed, and younger sister, Amina. His father's family had moved from Sildi 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. Khabib's training as a child included wrestling a bear when he was nine years old.
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, Abdulmanap had also wrestled from an early age, before undergoing training in judo and sambo in the military. Abdulmanap dedicated his life to coaching the youth in Dagestan, in hopes of offering an alternative to the Islamic extremism common to the region.
In 2001, his family moved to Makhachkala, the capital of Dagestan, 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. Khabib said that, along with his father, three athletes who inspired him were the American boxers Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson and the Brazilian footballer Ronaldo.
Family and personal life
Married, wife's name is Patimat. The couple studied at the same school in the village of Sildi in Dagestan. The wedding took place in 2013. In June 2015, daughter Fatima was born, and in December 2017, a son was born, who was named Magomed. On December 22, 2019, the third child was born.
Khabib's cousins Umar and Usman Nurmagomedov are also professional MMA fighters.
In May 2020, Nurmagomedov's father and his personal trainer Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov were placed in a medically induced coma after contracting COVID-19 and undergoing heart surgery. He died on July 3, 2020 in a Moscow clinic at the age of 57. This event most seriously influenced Nurmagomedov's future career. After the fight with Gaethje, Nurmagomedov announced that he was ending his career because he wanted to spend more time with his mother.
In September 2018, Nurmagomedov spoke out against the performances of Black Star label artists in Dagestan, which caused a conflict between him and Timati, one of the owners and founders of the company. Later, the head of the Chechen Republic, Ramzan Kadyrov, said that he had reconciled Nurmagomedov with Timati.
On October 30, 2020, Nurmagomedov spoke on Instagram in connection with the assassination of Samuel Paty and the terrorist attack in Nice, calling French President Macron a “creature” that inspires “followers who, under the slogan of freedom of speech, offend the feelings of more than one and a half billion Muslim believers”. On October 31, the fighter published a new post on the social network, in which he stated that “today, under the pretext of fighting for freedom of speech, the enemies of Islam and Muslims of various levels are trying to offend the feelings of hundreds of millions of believers around the world by drawing caricatures of the best of people”
Khabib Nurmagomedov is a two-time world champion in combat sambo. In 2010, two world championships were held at once - the 15th in a row in Kiev and the 16th in Moscow. In the first championship, he won in the category up to 74 kg, and in the second - up to 82 kg. In November 2009, Khabib became the champion of Russia (up to 74 kg). He also had defeats. He came second at the 2010 Amateur Club World Cup in the 82 kg category, losing to Magomed Alinchiev. Also on the Internet there is a video where Nurmagomedov loses to his countryman Magomed Ibragimov. The poster next to the carpet says “Combat Sambo Championship of Russia”, but due to the lack of protocols surviving online, it is difficult to establish the exact date. In February 2010, Nurmagomedov lost to Vladimir Zenin in the first round of the Russian Championship, which was held in the city of Krasnokamsk (Perm Territory).
On the evening of October 24, 2020, a fight between Khabib Nurmagomedov and American fighter Justin Gaethje took place in Abu Dhabi at the UFC 254 tournament. In the second half of the first round, the first blows from the athletes and the fight on the ground were seen. The fighters started the second round with active actions, Geydzhi managed to hit Khabib several times. Nurmagomedov was unable to make a pass to the legs, and he threw jabs, and Justin often hit with low kicks. Khabib tried to hit with a knee in a jump, but Geydzhi got away from the blow. At the end of the first round, Khabib managed to get to his feet, the fight began at the net. Nurmagomedov wanted to go to the elbow lever, but the gong sounded. In the second round, Khabib immediately carried out a takedown, moved to the mount and closed the triangle, Gagey began to signal the surrender, but the judge did not immediately notice this. Khabib Nurmagomedov won by submission via submission.
End of career
In an interview after the fight with Gaethje, Nurmagomedov announced his retirement. Despite continued attempts to keep the fighter for one more fight, on March 19, 2021, UFC President Dana White announced that Nurmagomedov had retired and the lightweight title had been vacated.
In August 2021, there were reports in the press that Nurmagomedov intended to sign a contract with the Makhachkala club from the PFL Legion Dynamo. The president of the club, Shamil Lakhiyalov, claimed that no final agreement had been reached, although the club had fulfilled all the conditions of the former UFC fighter.
Khabib Nurmagomedov starred in the film "Different Songs in Any Way", which was created in 1998 by the KVN team "Makhachkala Tramps". He played a cameo role as a pioneer in the skit "If a friend went on the road." Khabib was 10 at the time.
Documentaries, videos and podcasts
Conor McGregor vs Khabib Nurmagomedov weigh-in: Conor kicks out, Drake rocks Irish flag | UFC 229
October 5, 2018
Free Fight: Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Justin Gaethje
December 31, 2020
UFC 242: Khabib vs Poirier - Preview
September 4, 2019