Khabib names 3 favorite mixed martial artists that shaped his career

Khabib Nurmagomedov is one of rare cases of mixed martial artists retiring undefeated and on top of their game. While Nurmagomedov has not been placed on many of his peers list of greatest athletes of all time he seems settled in his decision to hang up the gloves.

As a part of Islam Makhachev’s team, he’s been answering a lot of questions about the pending bout at UFC 280 and also some personal questions.

Regardless if you love or hate him, Khabib is one of the biggest stars in the sport even after retiring. This is perhaps why it’s especially interesting to look at who his idols are. Nurmagomedov named 3 on his recent podcast appearance.

“When I was 16, they was on Pride. It was Fedor. It was Mauricio Shogun Rua and George St-Pierre. So it was three guys.”

” UFC and Pride Champions, I grew up watching their  fights, you know. And when I met them first it was like very big emotional for me, you know, because I grew up with the fights.”

Oddly just one of the 3 is still active – Shogun Rua’s retirement is pending with his last bout scheduled for Brazil in December.

Khabib also claimed that Oliveira has no skill on the ground and inaccurately said Oliveira tapped 8 times.

“This is what Islam going to do with Charles Oliveira. He is going to ride him like you ride a horse. Save this video, because a lot of people underestimate Islam. They think Charles Oliveira has a ground game. He doesn’t have a ground game. If you tap eight times in the UFC, how can you say you have a ground game? You tap eight times!” Khabib said.

Charles Oliveira has 8 losses in his professional MMA career which only 3 of them he lost via submission. First one was a kneebar by Jim Miller and the other two were guillotine chokes by Anthony Pettis and Ricardo Lamas.