Khabib Nurmagomedov is one of the most prominent Russian athletes in the world. Nurmagomedov, 33, might be retired now but prior to retirement he accumulated the pristine record containing 29 wins and no losses. Nurmagomedov’s trademark in the UFC octagon became a papakha.
Papaha, is a high fur hat, usually made of karakul sheep skin. It’s typical attire for the Caucasian region. Papakhi are donned by the Circassians, Chechens, Dagestanians, and other Caucasian tribes. This was Nurmagomedov’s subtle nod to his Dagestani origins.
But prior to representing Dagestan/Russia, Khabib represented Ukraine and even applied for the Ukrainian passport.
This is why Ukrainian UFC fighter Ihor Potieria called out Nurmagomedov for his silence.
“You were loved by millions,” Potieria said on his Instagram story (transcribed by Bloody Elbow). “You’ve been an example in many martial arts gyms. You started your career in Ukraine. You speak about honor and faith. And now you are silent.”
“You are not a warrior, you are an accomplice of a killer.” Potieria wrote on Instagram.
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. You can read more about that here.