BREAKING: Khabib Nurmagomedov Voted ‘World Sport Star of the Year 2020’

Published 12/17/2020, 11:28 PM EST
ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – SEPTEMBER 07: Khabib Nurmagomedov of Russia prepares to enter the Octagon prior to his lightweight championship bout against Dustin Poirier during UFC 242 at The Arena on September 7, 2019 in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)


UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov is in as the World Sport Star for BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2020. The news came out through BBC Sport’s official Twitter handle and listed some staggering achievements accrued by Nurmagomedov. ‘The Eagle’ is no stranger to standing out amongst the crowd, and his latest achievement is a testament to that.

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Additionally, Khabib’s dominance and sheer larger-than-life presence in the MMA world speaks volumes about his selection. Considering the fact that he fought only once in 2020, it’s no easy feat to have bagged the award in the face of other elite athletes. Moreover, the fact is that he’s truly crossed over into mainstream appeal outside the bubble of the MMA world.

Khabib Nurmagomedov: A life-long combatant

The 29-0 fighter recently retired following his lone appearance in 2020 that left fans feeling the immediate sense of his absence. Khabib Nurmagomedov competed last on October 24, 2020, at UFC 254 where he defended his lightweight strap. He was tasked with stopping the interim lightweight champion Justin Gaethje, who was seen as his toughest test yet.

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However, Nurmagomedov would make that claim into a rather laughable one as he made quick work of ‘The Highlight’. Khabib put Justin Gaethje to sleep in the second round of their contest and etched another massive defense under his belt. However, fans were surprised to see him emotionally lay down his gloves in the cage and announce his retirement.

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – OCTOBER 25: (L-R) Khabib Nurmagomedov of Russia celebrates his victory over Justin Gaethje in their lightweight title bout during the UFC 254 event on October 25, 2020 on UFC Fight Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

In hindsight, Nurmagomedov had retired after a particularly turbulent year. He lost his father and life-long trainer Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov to COVID-19, and fans theorized that he would walk away. However, fans held on to the hope that he would reach 30-0- a goal his father had set for him.

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Additionally, Nurmagomedov’s year did not see limitations to fighting as he uses his platform to aid in Russia’s combat development. Nurmagomedov along with his father has placed major emphasis on building up the sport of MMA. Additionally, he also voiced a desire to bring MMA to the world stage of the Olympics.

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Darryl Pinto

1607 articles

Darryl Pinto is a senior MMA writer at EssentiallySports. He is currently pursuing his graduate degree in Mass Media (with a specialization in Journalism) out of Xavier’s College and has a year's experience in his current role. Darryl specializes in predictions, reporting, and covering UFC events live.

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