Khabib Nurmagomedov is one of the most dominant fighters in MMA history. With an undefeated record to his name, 'The Eagle' from Dagestan has cemented his place in the annals of the sport.
While the octagon has witnessed many dominant fighters over the years, Khabib Nurmagomedov's style separates him from the rest. A strong wrestler with a black belt in judo, the Russian was known for taking his opponents to the ground with ease.
Once on the ground, Nurmagomedov would exert immense pressure from the top and display impressive grappling to win via submission. 11 out of his 29 wins have come via submission for 'The Eagle'. Along with this brilliant display of grappling, Nurmagomedov was also proficient with the use of ground and pound.
With 29 fights under his belt, 'The Eagle' spent 12 years in professional MMA. Prior to his career in the sport, Nurmagomedov also competed in sambo.
A two-time combat sambo world champion, Khabib Nurmagomedov experienced a lot of success in the sport. His success in MMA can be attributed to his experience in the sport of Sambo.
While Nurgmagomedov's official sambo record isn't available, his team-mate Josh Thompson once mentioned the Dagestani has 250 sambo fights to his name. Thompson said:
“"Like, Khabib’s got over 250 sambo fights. You don’t think he has been working submissions since he was a damn kid – Leg locks, ankle locks, kneebars, all that s**t, armbars. They been doing this s**t forever. 250 amateur fights, John."
Check out what Josh Thompson said below:
What makes Khabib Nurmagomedov such a good fighter?
Since the UFC first started in 1993, the promotion has witnessed several good fighters. However, it can arguably be said that none of them were as dominating as Khabib Nurmagomedov.
While there were many factors that made the Russian a great fighter, his attitude of never giving up stands out among them. Despite facing multiple injuries throughout his career, 'The Eagle' fought through them all.
Not only did he make successful returns from injuries, but he also triumphed over them. Using his impeccable skills, Nurmagomedov dominated the competition to stay undefeated and become the UFC lightweight champion.
Other factors that contributed towards the fighter's success were his humility and dedication. It is apparent that Nurmagomedov has lived a simple life filled with prayer and training. The focus is one reason why the former champion is regarded as one of the GOATs.
As of now, Khabib Nurmagomedov is retired from the sport. 'The Eagle' hung up his gloves after his victory against Justin Gaethje at UFC 254. Since then, he has donned the hat of a promoter with Eagle FC.