Daniel Cormier Shares an Emotional Khabib Nurmagomedov Moment from the Past

Published 01/05/2021, 6:42 AM EST
ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA – AUGUST 17: Daniel Cormier is interviewed after his TKO loss to Stipe Miocic in their heavyweight championship bout during the UFC 241 event at the Honda Center on August 17, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)


Daniel Cormier took to social media and shared a throwback appreciation post of Khabib Nurmagomedov and their gym, American Kickboxing Academy. The image post and the caption came in from the night of UFC 229, where ‘The Eagle’ had defended his title. Moreover, the bout was the biggest in company history as he faced Conor McGregor in the lightweight contest.

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The post hits back to a time where Khabib Nurmagomedov was literally on top of the sport in terms of popularity. The Russian mauler recently retired following UFC 254 in Abu Dhabi, where he proceeded to a 29-0 professional record. In hindsight, his bout against McGregor may go down as his most prolific one yet.

Furthermore, Cormier’s post turns things back to a time when he himself was an active fighter on the roster. Both Daniel Cormier and Khabib were figureheads of AKA in San Jose, California, and carried the torch of the reputed MMA gym. Just over two years later, both men are seemingly done competing in the sport, leaving behind a void.

UFC 229: A night of historic proportions

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Khabib vs McGregor was massive right from the get-go, and everything leading up to the event had fans excited. The pre-fight press conference sticks out in the minds of fans for the sheer intensity that surrounded the spectacle. From the presence of Proper 12 Whiskey at the venue to McGregor’s verbal barbs, it was clear that UFC 229 was unlike anything seen before.

NEW YORK, NY – SEPTEMBER 20: Lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov faces-off with Conor McGregor during the UFC 229 Press Conference at Radio City Music Hall on September 20, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images)

The fight itself delivered considering there were exciting knockdowns and tense moments in the stand-up. ‘The Eagle’ really started to pull away once he truly dedicated himself to the takedown, and the domination began. The inevitable finish came in Round 4 when McGregor was tapped out due to a vicious neck crank.

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Despite the fall-out from the post-fight brawl in the T-Mobile Arena, Khabib Nurmagomedov’s performance truly stands out. He was able to Conor McGregor guessing from the very start and effectively implement his game plan. To say that it was one of his best showcases would be an understatement, and Cormier certainly recognized that.

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Darryl Pinto

1450 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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