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‘At Bantamweight It’s Petr Yan’ – Khabib Nurmagomedov Reveals the Top Russian MMA Fighters in Each Weight Class

Published 08/23/2021, 10:31 AM EDT

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Khabib Nurmagomedov is inarguably one of the greatest fighters to ever be a part of MMA. The legendary Russian fighter has an incredible MMA record of (29-0) and has never lost a professional fight. ‘The Eagle’ has been retired since 2020 and he last competed in the UFC back at the UFC 254 event.

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Nurmagomedov defeated Justin Gaethje via a second-round submission and has since then been retired. Although even after retirement, Nurmagomedov remains one of the most popular MMA fighters out there. Therefore, the fighter can be seen attending various pressers and interviews around the world.


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During one such presser, ‘The Eagle’ was asked about who he considers are the top-3 Russian MMA fighters. Nurmagomedov said, “That’s a difficult question. I don’t want to forget anyone. Let’s look at weight divisions. At Bantamweight it’s Petr Yan. At featherweight, it’s Zabit. Zuba hasn’t become ranked yet, so we’re waiting for that. There are big expectations for his future. At lightweight it’s Islam Makhachev, he’s already a UFC title contender.”

“I’d also mention Ankalaev he has a good chance to become a champion at light heavyweight. If I forget someone everyone will write: ‘Why didn’t you name him?’ Almost forgot Askar at flyweight. Brandon Moreno is the current UFC champion and Askar had a draw with him. Askar is very close to the title.”

“At welterweight, I think Khamzat has a good chance. He’s doing very well. As for heavyweights – I don’t see anybody. At middleweight, Who’s there at middleweight? I don’t know, there’s nobody like that at middleweight. But here in Russia, it’ll be Magomed Ismailov, I believe.”

What next for Khabib Nurmagomedov?


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Khabib Nurmagomedov is just 32 years old and therefore many believe that the fighter will not remain retired. However, ‘The Eagle’ has repeatedly made it clear that he will never step inside the Octagon again.

Currently, the UFC legend runs his own MMA promotion in Russia and is also busy coaching young MMA talents. Therefore, it seems like there is little to no chance of Nurmagomedov fighting again.


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Written by:

Paras Pande


One take at a time

Paras Pande is a UFC author at EssentiallySports who is pursuing his graduation in Journalism and Mass Communication. An ardent follower of the UFC, he has been covering the sport for 2 years now. Before joining the team at EssentiallySports, Paras gained expertise as an MMA writer whilst working with Sportskeeda.
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