Dubai: UFC lightweight world champion Khabib Nurmagomedov is 28-0 as a professional after defeating Dustin Poirier, considered the toughest fighter that he has ever faced, with ridiculous ease in Abu Dhabi last weekend.
The only number that will see a change in the future is 28. There will be 29, 30, 31 and more wins, until he decides to hang-up his mixed martial arts (MMA) gloves.
In short, the Dagestan ‘Eagle’ will never, ever be beaten. Never, not in another lifetime.
He will be the Floyd Mayweather of UFC. The. Best. Ever.
Khabib’s skills set, training regimen and Octagon techniques are out of this world, while his hunger to destroy whoever opposes him in the Octagon is fear-provoking.
28-0Khabib Nurmagomedov’s win record as a professional fighter
Let’s take a look at how he has demolished bigger guys such as Thiago Tavare, Rafael Dos Anjos, Michael Johnson, Edson Barboza and Al Jaquinta, not to mention he most recent destruction of Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier.
Khabib won all of these fights in the very first round, not literally, but mentally. He has repeatedly reiterated that no one scares him inside the Octagon and he goes into the cage with that attitude and self-belief and makes even the most offensive fighter, like McGregor, for example, turn defensive.
Poirier promised he would shock the world, but did not. His attempts to show aggression were effortlessly negated by Khabib as early as the opening minutes of Round 1. Poirier was never the same fighter after falling behind in the opening exchanges.
He limited his maneuvers and soon put him against the fence before bringing into play his phenomenal top pressure. He always had Poirier under his control and used his ground-and-pound to soften him up. And then came the end. A python-like choke, had Poirier desperately tapping out.
Same story as with McGregor, Johnson and many others who fell short against the Dagestan warrior, who wrestled with bears as a child.
Khabib is a product of the former Soviet Union whose pioneering goal of talent spotting and training athletes from a very young age is decried by some, but lauded by many.
Let’s not forget that Russia is one of the world’s top wrestling nations and their teams have won Olympic golds by the dozens.
Khabib comes from Dagestan, a war-torn republic, where hardship is a way of life.
His father, Abdulmanap, was an athlete and an army veteran who trained in judo and sambo and always wanted his son to continue in his footsteps.
Khabib has realised Abdulmanap’s dreams tenfold.
He is what Mayweather is in boxing, untouched and undeterred.
There is a lot in common between the two combat sports practitioners.
Mayweather is not the best boxer, but he has never lost, so that makes him a legend. It’s the same with Khabib. Both are amazing technicians of their sport, both have the self-belief and skills to win over all-comers.
Love it or hate it, you’re going to hear a lot of discussions about whether Khabib is the greatest MMA fighter, even though he is not yet finished.
He talked about beating Poirier and cementing his legacy in Abu Dhabi and he did it in emphatic style and with the ease of wrestling a child.
His personal life, position in MMA history and his invincibility will be examined, analysed and exalted.
Children will try to emulate his take downs, sledge-hammer fists in a top position and his dominance of the opponent. But it’s easier said than done. You need to go deep into his heart to see what makes it beat so strongly. What waves off the fear, what defends the honesty?