Khabib Nurmagomedov Skill breakdown
Khabib Nurmagomedov is a multiple time Combat Sambo World Champion and a Judo black belt who currently fights in the lightweight division in the UFC. He holds one of the longest undefeated streaks in MMA with 23 straight wins. He was ranked the #1 contender in the UFC Lightweight division but then was dropped to #2 after being out of competition as a result of an injury.
His impressive win over current 155 lb. champion Rafael dos Anjos via Decision (unanimous) on April 19, 2014, is certainly noteworthy, and something we will cover here. Khabib, unfortunately, was injured following that fight and was on the shelf for 2 years following the biggest win of his career.
His return bout was scheduled to be against Tony Ferguson on April 16, 2016, at UFC on Fox 19. Tony pulled out with an injury however and Khabib Nurmagomedov instead was matched up with last-second replacement Darrell Horcher, whom he finished in the 2nd round, but showed nothing but class and respect for in the aftermath.
He has been training out of the American Kickboxing Academy (AKA) since 2012 and receives very high praise from teammates and coaches including, Javier Mendez, LHW Champion Daniel Cormier, MW Champion Luke Rockhold, former HW Champion Cain Velasquez among others.
Russian Sambo in MMA
The word “SAMBO” is an acronym for SAMozashchita Bez Oruzhiya, which literally translates as “self-defence without weapons”. Sambo is relatively modern since its development began in the early 1920s by the Soviet Red Army to improve its hand-to-hand combat abilities. It was intended to be a merger of the most effective techniques of other martial arts.
“Every bird of prey looks over its shoulder before it goes in for the kill, even a hawk. Even they know to watch their backs – every single one but an eagle. It’s fearless.” – Michelle Horst
DISCLAIMER: JUDO NERDS – There are no kimono’s in the UFC, I am using the Japanese names I remember from about 20 years ago to describe the takedowns. Any super-nerd corrections will be met with the trash can. I don’t care about you or your nerd friends.