Khabib Nurmagomedov is a Muslim hero you may not know much about. The Russian MMA champion has established himself as a supreme fighter and is undefeated with a 26-0 record.
On October 6, Khabib faces Connor McGregor in the biggest fight of his career. McGregor, the brash Irishman, is considered one of the greatest fighters of all time. The fight has been preceded by weeks of trash talking from McGregor in his trademark style, as he has never been one to stay quiet.
Khabib is a completely different personality with his calm demeanor and focus. He’s known for his strong faith and reserved lifestyle. When McGregor and Khabib face off on Saturday, it will truly be a clash of personalities.
Here are the top 5 facts about Khabib:
1. He wrestled bears as a child!
Khabib was born in Dagestan and like many kids in the region, he took up wrestling at a young age, training under the tutelage of his father, who is a decorated athlete and army veteran.
2. Khabib has trained in several disciplines
Starting out as wrestler, he moved on to train in judo, sambo, and pankration. Khabib has also trained in army hand-to-hand combat and is recognized as an international master in all these disciplines.
3. He has a huge following in Russia
Khabib is big in Russia. He is one of the most recognized sports stars in his home country. The man from Dagestan has over 6.1 million Instagram followers which is almost twice as many as Maria Sharapova.
4. He has the longest undefeated streak in MMA
Khabib has won every one of his 26 professional contests. Since beginning his professional MMA career in 2008, Khabib has had comprised 8 submission victories, 8 KO/TKO’s, and 10 wins coming by way of decision. The most remarkable aspect of this 26-fight winning streak is that his 10 most recent wins have all come at the elite UFC level.
5. Khabib is a devout Muslim
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Khabib strictly observes Islam and all its tenets. His religious does not drink alcohol and has refused to fight during Ramadan. Recently, Khabib also called out McGregor for relentlessly plugging his signature whiskey at their UFC press conference. In 2016, Khabib was upset with EA Sports as his character made a celebratory Christian gesture of the cross, in the UFC 2 console game. EA Sports apologized and changed the celebration.