With the anticipated clash between Islam Makhachev and Charles Oliveira booked for October, it’s as pertinent as ever to consider the advantages and distadvantages a background in jiu jitsu provides as opposed to background in combat sambo.
This led to us revisiting one of key moments in Khabib Nurmagomedov lore.
Leonid Gatovskiy was the first ever BJJ black belt in Russia. On the other hand, Khabib Nurmagomedov is one of the greatest grapplers in MMA history. Despite having an unblemished record, Khabib had been defeated by Gatovskiy.
Despite not having a BJJ black belt himself, Khabib Nurmagomedov has destroyed a number of respected grapplers in MMA with his superior grappling.
This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise considering that in 2012, he easily won the NAGA competition.
Nurmagomedov is not unbeaten in the BJJ competition either. Against Russia’s first BJJ black belt Leonid Gatovskiy back in 2009, Nurmagomedov lost.
This should help illustrate why Georges St-Pierre is ready to face Nurmagomedov in a grappling encounter. Taking him down on a large platform now that he’s a household figure in the MMA world would be an enormous coup for anybody.
The loss is also the reason why so many elite BJJ black belts are sure that they can beat him in submission grappling. However, it is important to keep in mind that this occurred more than 10 years ago. Nurmagomedov has improved with time, as shown by a relatively recent video of him smashing Luke Rockhold during a training session.