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Which team did UFC legend Khabib Nurmagomedov predict to win FIFA World Cup 2022?

FIFA 2022 poster (left) Khabib Nurmagomedov (right) [Image courtesy @fifaworldcup Instagram]
FIFA 2022 poster (left), Khabib Nurmagomedov (right) [Image courtesy @fifaworldcup Instagram]

It looks like UFC legend Khabib Nurmagomedov can't contain his excitement for the ongoing FIFA World Cup. Much like the rest of the world, the former UFC champion also has opinions as to who will lift the cup this time around.

In a recent interview for Class A Events in Toronto, the UFC Hall of Famer picked England, Brazil, and the Netherlands as his favorites to win this edition of the FIFA World Cup. Speaking to the Canadian crowd, 'The Eagle' said:

"This World Cup. I'm going to choose three teams. I think England is going to do very well. I think Brazil, Brazil is very good. And I think [the] Netherlands."

Watch the full interview with Khabib Nurmagomedov below:

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However, the former undefeated UFC lightweight champion added that nations like Argentina, France, Spain, Croatia, Belgium, and Denmark also have very competent squads:

"I know, Argentina, France, Spain, [a] lot of good teams. There is Croatia, Belgium, and Denmark, they are very tough teams. But I just choose three teams and let's see what happens."

Khabib Nurmagomedov's predictions might not be far-fetched, since two of the three teams he picked have won their opening matches for the tournament in style.

England started their World Cup campaign with a 6-2 win over Iran, while the Netherlands triumphed in their opening game against Senegal with a 2-0 scoreline.


Khabib Nurmagomedov shares how his love for football started

During the same interview, Khabib Nurmagomedov stated that he has been an avid fan of football since 1996. 'The Eagle' explained that he has been completely engrossed with the sport since watching the Euro 1996 semi-finals between England and Germany:

"I remember [the] first time I watched [football was] Euro it was 1996 in England when... I was eight years old. I remember, I watched it with [my] father. It was [the] semi-final of Euro [1996], England vs. Germany and from that time I follow everything about football. Like all World Cups, Champions League, Premier League."

Furthermore, Nurmagomedov claimed that football is his favorite sport, and sometimes it even puzzles him as to why he chose to pursue a career in MMA instead:

"This sport [football] for me is like still on the top, you know. Even like MMA, [I] became a fighter accidentally. I don't know how I became [a] fighter."

During the interview, the UFC Hall of Famer named Ronaldo Nazario and Zinedine Zidane as the two players he admired the most during his childhood.

Since retiring from MMA, Khabib Nurmagomedov has comfortably settled into a coaching role. 'The Eagle's' protege Islam Makhachev is the reigning UFC lightweight champion.

Makhachev is currently gearing up for his UFC 284 clash against featherweight kingpin Alexander Volkanovski.

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Edited by Aziel Karthak
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