“He was one of us” – Murad Ramazanov explains why Khabib Nurmagomedov is so motivating to him and the Dagestani youth

Murad Ramazanov (L) says Khabib Nurmagomedov (R) opened the door for a lot of Dagestani fighters. | Photo by ONE Championship
Murad Ramazanov (L) says Khabib Nurmagomedov (R) opened the door for a lot of Dagestani fighters | Photo by ONE Championship

Undefeated ONE welterweight fighter Murad Ramazanov considers Khabib Nurmagomedov to be his role model.

In fact, the 27-year-old wants to mirror the Dagestani MMA legend’s career as a world champion inside the circle and as an amazing human being outside of it.

Speaking to ONE Championship, Ramazanov explained how Nurmagomedov served as an inspiration to young Russian fighters like him who are now making a huge splash in the mixed martial arts scene:

“We all looked up to Khabib. He was one of us, a guy from Dagestan who was proud of his heritage, of his fighting style, who was respected. He became a champion. People respected him. We looked at Khabib and believed that it was possible for us, too, one day. His influence on the region is huge.”

Nurmagomedov may have retired from fighting, but his legacy and influence live on through the new breed of Dagestani fighters excelling in MMA in numerous promotions.

Russian sambo, for one, is now considered one of the best combat sports disciplines in the world, thanks in large part to the ascension of these Dagestani warriors.

Aside from Ramazanov, ONE is also home to other stars coming from elite sambo backgrounds, including Marat Gafurov and Saygid Izagakhmaev, among others.

With that said, Ramazanov argued that more hidden gems from Russia will emerge in the coming years, who are all seeking to follow in Nurmagomedov’s footsteps.

The Russian grappler continued:

“Khabib opened his own school and kids respect him. I think he keeps many of them off the street. Even if they don't become professional athletes, they'll get a lot of useful experience in the gym. He gives them more than training, they get educated through sports.”

Meanwhile, he will be one step closer to becoming a world champion as his mentor 'The Eagle' if he can beat Roberto Soldic at ONE on Prime Video 5: De Ridder vs. Malykhin this Friday, December 2 (US Primetime).

The world title eliminator at 185lbs will be broadcast live from the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines. It will stream live and free of charge for North American Amazon Prime Video subscribers.

Murad Ramazanov opens up on possibly losing his undefeated record

In the same interview with ONE Championship, Ramazanov talked about preserving his pristine 11-0 MMA record.

While he would love to retire undefeated one day like Khabib Nurmagomedov, he knows losing is also part of the sport.

The Dagestani said:

“Every fighter loves having an undefeated record, but most of us lose it sooner or later. I hope I will be able to accept it with grace, if and when it happens, and mentally, I am preparing myself for it.”

Moreover, Ramazanov said he would treat a potential loss as a learning experience and use it to grow as a better fighter and human being:

“Most likely, it won’t be easy to accept defeat, but it will not break me. It will definitely teach me something, it might help me beat some bad habits, like going to bed late or not following a diet.”

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Edited by Virat Deswal
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