Khabib is widely considered one of the best mixed martial artists of all time. He has an undefeated record of 29 professional outings, including 13 in the UFC.
He won the lightweight title in 2018 and successfully defended it three times against top-level opponents like Conor McGregor, Dustin Poirier, and Justin Gaethje. Khabib retired from MMA in the cage, following win over Gaethje.
Unlike most UFC champions, he was never interested in super events or moving up in weight. He maintained that lightweight was his division and stuck to his father’s vision for his career.
Khabib’s success in MMA is largely attributed to his combat sambo skills. This Russian grappling martial art, which involves striking as well, allowed him to dominate his opponents with relentless pressure and efficient takedowns.
Volkanovski’s BJJ coach recently addressed the advantages of Sambo in an MMA scenario (as transcribed by bjjdoc.com):
“Obviously sambo has the takedown skills that they take across to MMA, which is which is again, very impressive, but just like I was saying, Islam has excellent takedowns pretty good submissions. ”
Khabib competed in numerous combat sambo competitions before joining the UFC, winning two world championships in 2009 and 2010. He also won several grappling competitions, including a no-gi tournament.
Khabib Nurmagomedov once competed against a heavyweight athlete in a combat sambo match. Despite facing a bigger and heavier opponent, Khabib managed to survive until the last round.
In 2013, Khabib faced Ahmachei Gelegaev, a three-time combat sambo world champion, in a non-official grappling match.
Despite being outsized, Khabib dominated Gelegaev for most of the bout, taking him down and avoiding submission attempts. No winner was declared, but Khabib thanked the audience for their support and emphasized the importance of motivating young people to stay in the gym and off the streets.
Overall, Khabib’s remarkable career in combat sports and his commitment to inspiring the next generation of athletes make him a true legend of the sport. We just wish he wasn’t trying to get people involved into Crypto nonsense because his UFC contract is rumored to have been sizable.
Ezra Samuel is a passionate freelance writer with a particular love for covering MMA news. His interest in the sport dates back to his college days, and he has since established himself as a respected voice in the MMA community. Over the years, Ezra has contributed his writing to a variety of digital outlets, including the popular site calfkicker.