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Georges St-Pierre's coach Firas Zahabi explains why Dagestani fighters like Khabib Nurmagomedov are so dominant

Khabib Nurmagomedov
Khabib Nurmagomedov
Anurag Mitra
Modified 31 Oct 2020, 23:52 IST

Georges St-Pierre's coach Firas Zahabi has explained why fighters hailing from Dagestan, Russia - which is where Khabib Nurmagomedov is from - are so dominant inside the Octagon.

Dagestan is known for its stunning mountainous landscapes, its history of political unrest and violence, and for its wrestlers and mixed martial artists.

The region is often associated with a lot of violence, and MMA training is almost a way of life for the people of the region, an alternative to being part of the violent revolts that are a regular occurrence in the area. 

GSP's coach explains what makes Dagestani fighters like Khabib Nurmagomedov world beaters

According to Zahabi, fighters from the region such as the undisputed and undefeated UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, are a cut above the fighters from the rest of the world due to their "phenomenal" training in wrestling, sambo, jiu-jitsu, kickboxing, and boxing which make up the most important aspects of MMA.

Zahabi further stated that fighters from Dagestan can credit their incredible cardio to the fact that they train in high altitude and are exposed to naturally rigid terrain that makes training all the more difficult and the fighters unbreakable.

While speaking about the lifestyle of the fighters from the region, Zahabi said that the fact that they live a very tough life while growing up in the oft-troubled region immensely contributes towards instilling an indomitable spirit and an iron will in them.

Khabib Nurmagomedov and the adversity he faced in Dagestan


The most popular Dagestani fighter in the UFC is Khabib Nurmagomedov and it is no secret that the undefeated fighter grew up amidst a lot of adversity and had to witness a lot of unrest in his hometown while growing up. Ahead of his fight against Justin Gaethje at UFC 254, Nurmagomedov even spoke about his difficult childhood.

Khabib Nurmagomedov also attributed his success inside the octagon to a humble lifestyle, growing up in difficult conditions, and going through inhuman levels of training, such as wrestling a bear when he was a child.

The above video shows Khabib Nurmagomedov wrestling a bear under the tutelage of his late father Abdulmanap.

Published 31 Oct 2020, 23:50 IST
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