Chael Sonnen claims Dagestani fighters like Khabib Nurmagomedov and Islam Makhachev are a cut above the rest of the UFC roster in terms of skillset. According to Sonnen, fighters coming out of Dagestan, Russia, possess a unique set of skills that other fighters don't.
In a recent episode of Bad Guy INC, 'The American Gangster' attributed these skills to the kind of training the fighters undergo in their homeland of Dagestan. Sonnen said the skills they learn do not belong to any specific martial art and that they are exclusive to the region of Dagestan. These skills are immensely effective and help create the edge for fighters hailing from the region in any fight.
Chael Sonnen ultimately credited the success of Dagestani fighters to Khabib Nurmagomedov's father, Abdulmanap.
"What these guys are doing, coach Nurmagomedov and I'm talking about senior, I'm talking about Khabib's father. The way he trained these guys in grappling with some of their controls, the way that they are passing and going for the submissions. Islam had a pass last night where he flies into the armbar. He missed it, it didn't work but it was very similar to the armbar that Khabib had done to Justin Gaethje. That's not jiu-jitsu, that's not wrestling, that's not sambo, that's not catch, that's not judo, that's their own thing. These boys in Dagestan are playing a whole other game."
Watch the full video below:
Khabib Nurmagomedov forced Islam Makhachev to grapple at UFC Vegas 31
After submitting Thiago Moises in the main event of UFC Vegas 31, Islam Makhachev revealed that Khabib Nurmagomedov was pressurizing him to take the fight to the ground. Makhachev wanted to show off his striking skills in the fight but Nurmagomedov wanted him to stick to his strengths.
In the post-fight interview, Makhachev said his coach and Khabib's father Abdulmanap also used to ask him to use his grappling skills in fights.
"This guy [Khabib Nurmagomedov] pressured me all four rounds. 'Take him down, take him, take him down.' I just wanna strike with him a little bit, but this guy pressure me, you know."
"My coach Abdulmanap [Nurmagomedov] always tell me, 'You have much better [skills] than anybody. Wrestling skills, grappling skills, use your skills." said Islam Makhachev.
After Khabib, Conor and Jon Jones, it's Islam, O'Malley and Izzy. Follow them here!