Khabib Nurmagomedov wanted an Ukrainian passport in the past, but denied by officials

One of the best Lightweights the sport has ever seen, Khabib Nurmagomedov has always been proud to display his Russian nationality.

Coming from Dagestan, a region from the Republic of Russia, Khabib has used his massive influence in the sport to become one of Russia’s biggest voices.

Despite that massive influence, Khabib has yet to comment on the recent news of Russia invading Ukraine.

Nowadays, Nurmagomedov has a pretty good relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

But things were not always so smooth – at one point Nurmagomedov publicly pleaded for the help of his benefactor Ziyavudin Magomedov.

”Our elder brother, co-owner of our team Ziyavudin Magomedov, is in a difficult situation,” Khabib said in Russian during UFC 223.

Magomedov was arrested last week on embezzlement and organized crime charges.

If things worked out a bit differently for the former champion, he could’ve found himself on the other side of the conflict as citizen of Ukraine.

Khabib’s family has a long relationship with Ukraine.

His father, Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov started his sports career with freestyle wrestling in Ukraine. He eventually won the championship of Ukraine in judo and sambo.

Adbulmanap also trained his brother Nurmagomedov Nurmagomedov to win a sambo/judo championship for the Ukrainian national team.

Khabib’s father and his two uncles (the three Nurmagomedov brothers) all finished their higher education in Poltava, Ukraine.

One of Khabib’s uncles and also Ukrainian citizen Alex Nurmagomedov, has shared this story in the past in an interview with Sport-express.

According to him, Khabib has applied for Ukrainian citizenship several times in the past. But all the applications were denied.

“We tried our best to get Ukrainian citizenship for Khabib. We value, love, and respect Ukraine and its people. I say you can’t find a better nation. They say home is where you were born. In my book, home is where you feel good. We planned for Khabib to compete for Ukraine, but we could not do it. Khabib was offended because of the denial. He asked me why they wouldn’t give him a passport, why they would assess the situation that way. I told him I don’t know the reason and I could not do anything about it,” Alex said.

This is an interesting fact after the Ukrainian military asked its citizens to “take up arms” against the Russian offensive.

“All those who are ready to take up arms, join the ranks of the area defense forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. We simplified procedures. Only your ID is needed. We give weapons to all patriots!” Ukraine’s Armed Forces said in a tweet.

Lucky break for Nurmagomedov – considering that Putin’s forces are slated to take over Kiev sometime today.