"How can you say you have ground game?" - When Khabib Nurmagomedov ripped into Charles Oliveira for tapping out "eight times"

Khabib Nurmagomedov (left) and Islam Makhachev vs Charles Oliveira (right). [via Getty Images]
Khabib Nurmagomedov (left), Islam Makhachev vs. Charles Oliveira (right) [via Getty Images]

UFC Hall of Famer Khabib Nurmagomedov places no stock in former lightweight champion Charles Oliveira's ground game despite 'do Bronx' being a third-degree black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu.

In an interaction with former UFC champions Kamaru Usman and Henry Cejudo in 2022, 'The Eagle' revealed some tips to grapple better and gave the analogy of riding a horse and gripping with the legs. He said:

“If you use your hips, takedown after use your hips and make him lift you. Okay, he’s gonna tap. You just don’t grip him like this [with arms], grip him with your legs and like horse. You know, how to ride horse? Like, with legs. And your arm. [You do gotta make them move] Now we’re talking. This is what I’m talking."

Khabib Nurmagomedov went on to discuss his teammate and long-time friend Islam Makhachev's fight against then-champion Charles Oliveira. He claimed that Makhachev would apply the abovementioned technique against Oliveira and "ride him."

Nurmagomedov also questioned Charles Oliveira's claim to being a master of the ground game having tapped out "eight times," although the actual number of submission losses in Oliveira's career then was three. 'The Eagle' added:

"This is what Islam gonna do with Charles Oliveira. He gonna ride him. You know, like this is like you understand what I mean? Like how you ride your horse, he’s very good on this. Just save this video because a lot of people underestimate this. They think Charles Oliveira have ground game. But he don’t have ground game. If you tap eight times in the UFC, how can you say you have ground game? You tapped eight times.”

Islam Makhachev came good on his mentor's prediction and submitted Oliveira in the second round of their UFC 280 meeting.

Check out Nurmagomedov's comments below:


Former Mexican cartel member credits Khabib Nurmagomedov for helping him find his way to Islam

Former Mexican cartel member Zack Gonzalez recently spoke about finding guidance towards Islam and being prompted by Khabib Nurmagomedov's words of spirituality.

Gonzalez revealed how a recitation from the Quran helped him get over suicidal thoughts and then watching UFC 254 increased his interest towards Islam. He said:

“A homeboy invited me over to his house. He said, 'Hey you wanna see this UFC fight coming up?' And it was Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Justin Gaethje. And I see Khabib saying ‘Alhamdulillah,’ and I was like, 'What is that?' And I start investigating. And I started knowing about Khalid bin Walid, about the sahaba, how they were real warriors. They were real men. I fell in love with it… Allah guided me.”

Nurmagomedov posted a clip of Zack Gonzalez's comments on his Instagram account.

Check out Gonzalez's comments below:

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Edited by Tejas Rathi
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