When Magomed Ibragimov defeated Khabib Nurmagomedov back in 2005, little did he know that he was accomplishing a feat that would remain unparalleled in the years to come.
Magomed Ibragimov was 20 and Khabib Nurmagomedov was 17 when the two met at the Russian Combat Sambo Championship in the under-68 kg category. Nurmagomedov represented his native Dagestan, while Ibragimov, also a Dagestani, was fighting out of Chechnya.
Catch the full fight below:
Both fighters put up a tremendous show, stalking and trading blows throughout their bout. We can see Khabib Nurmagomedov attempting a number of moves that he has later on perfected during his time in UFC. There was also a takedown attempt towards the end of the fight.
However, it did not turn out to be Khabib Nurmagomedov's day despite a brilliant display of grappling and takedown skills. The judges scored in favor of Magomed Ibragimov.
Read more about the fight here.
So, who is the fighter who handed Khabib Nurmagomedov the only known loss of his fighting career?
Who is Magomed Ibragimov?
Born on June 2, 1985, Magomed Ibragimov went on to have a decorated career in freestyle wrestling. Like Khabib Nurmagomedov, Ibragimov also hails from the Makhachkala region of Dagestan, Russia. He took up wrestling at the age of 12 and was a student of Dagestan State Pedagogical University.
Later on in his life, he became a resident of Uzbekistan after receiving citizenship in 2016.
Under the coaching of the honored Russian trainer Kasum Nasrudinov, Magomed Ibragimov rose to fame by winning a silver medal at the 2013 Ivan Yarygin Grand Prix in Krasnoyarsk. In the finals, he lost to Anzor Urishev.
In a 2013 interview with Russian publication Wrestdag.ru, Magomed Ibragimov shared his thoughts on losing to Urishev and targeting to win the World Championship, which was in a month. [Translated by Google]
"I am glad that my results began to go up, but I can only say that I am completely satisfied with myself when I win the world championship. We must strive for this goal, but first we must successfully perform at the national championship. My struggle began to improve, I stopped fussing on the carpet, making mistakes. The point here is probably in psychology. When you go into a fight confident in yourself, with a good attitude, you do a lot. I hope this will be the case for me in the future." said Ibragimov.
A month later, he secured another silver medal at the World Cup in Tehran, where he won three of the four fights for the Russian National Team. The Dagestani wrestler went through Ilya Khamikoyev from Azerbaijan, Omargadzhi Magomedov from Belarus, and Ibrahim Bolukbashi from Turkey to get to the finals of the tournament. His only loss came in the finals against London Olympic gold medallist, Eskhan Lashgari.
The international career of Magomed Ibragimov
As an Uzbekistani citizen, Magomed Ibragimov was selected for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He secured his place in the Olympics by winning second place at a qualification tournament in Ulaanbaatar. He made his country proud by winning a bronze medal at the competition.
Two years later, he was selected for the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta, Indonesia as well. There too, he secured a bronze medal after losing in the semifinals to Iranian competitor Alirese Karimi in the Under-97 kg category. In the battle for third place, Ibragimov defeated Takeshi Yamaguchi of Japan with a score of 6:0.
Despite the career of Magomed Ibragimov taking a completely different path than Khabib Nurmagomedov, their names will now be entwined in the history of fight sports for the years to come.They both accomplished great feats in their own respective careers.
Khabib Nurmagomedov went on to become the undefeated UFC Lightweight champion and retiring as one, just like his father predicted. Magomed Ibragimov, on the other hand, became an Olympian with several other accomplishments to his name.