Here’s Why Prominent UFC Fighters Hate Khabib Nurmagomedov

Published 01/15/2022, 11:47 AM EST
ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES SEPTEMBER 8, 2019: UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov at a news conference after defending his title in a bout against interim UFC lightweight champion Dustin Poirier at the UFC 242 mixed martial arts tournament. Valery Sharifulin/TASS (Photo by Valery SharifulinTASS via Getty Images)

Many fans and fighters have polarized opinions about Khabib Nurmagomedov. After all, it is impossible to be liked by everyone. While he was an extremely dominant fighter during his reign, there are a few reasons why certain UFC fighters might not like him. In an interesting video, the narrator was heard pointing out several such reasons.


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Pull-out merchant


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During his entire career, Khabib has had to pull out of some fights because of a few different reasons. He has canceled bouts against Donald Cerrone and Tony Ferguson several times. Because of this, many started to call him the ‘pull-out merchant’.

McGregor had once said, “He’s [Khabib Nurmagomedov] fought once in eight years. Do you know what I am saying? He ain’t fight too frequent for my liking. For me to commit to something like that, I need to see solid proof that people are gonna show up and he’s a consistent pull-out merchant.”

Further, as a result of Khabib and Ferguson’s fight getting canceled about five times, the MMA community might have lost out on one of the biggest fights in UFC’s history.

Khabib Nurmagomedov dismissed Tony Ferguson

Apart from canceled bouts with Ferguson, many also accuse Khabib of having a dismissive attitude towards ‘El Cucuy’. Thus, Ferguson’s fans would have surely not liked this.

The narrator said, “Khabib is definitely the more popular fighter on a global level. Those fighters who consider themselves fans of El Cucuy will no doubt take an issue with Nurmagomedov’s dismissive attitude towards Ferguson.”

Rivalry with Conor McGregor

Khabib and Conor McGregor both have a huge following. Their bitter rivalry seemed to have crossed many boundaries. Many spectators felt that McGregor’s trash talk was distasteful and unnecessary.

The narrator pointed out, “The pair obviously shared one hell of a rivalry in the lead up to their UFC 229 clash where lines relating to culture, religion, and family were constantly crossed like they were nothing…”

On the other hand, when Khabib won their UFC 229 bout, he jumped out of the octagon to attack McGregor’s friend Dillon Danis. This resulted in a huge ruckus and many fighters felt that this action invited negative attention towards the sport.

LAS VEGAS, NV – OCTOBER 06: (R-L) Khabib Nurmagomedov of Russia attempts to submit Conor McGregor of Ireland in their UFC lightweight championship bout during the UFC 229 event inside T-Mobile Arena on October 6, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)


Many UFC fighters also feel that the Dagestani fighter retired early. Khabib is one of the fighters that many consider the G.O.A.T. However, many also bring up the argument that he left during his prime and did not defend his belt against other good contemporary fighters as well as the upcoming fighters.

Both sides might be correct in their perspectives. However, ‘The Eagle’ has now taken on much more important roles of a promoter and a mentor.

Khabib Nurmagomedov never changed weight class

Many fighters like to go up and down weight classes in order to prove their command over the sport. There are also a few double champions who defended both their belts. However, Khabib chose to stay in the lightweight division till the very end.

The narrator said, “His issues on the scale earlier in his career let many of his fellow fighters to suggest that he was too fixated on taking every weight advantage possible over his fellow lightweights…”


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Many dislike this and feel that Khabib should have tested his skill at other divisions, too. Further, the initial fights of his career were against fighters who were making their professional debut. So they weren’t the best fighters to face in the ring.

Apart from all these, there are a few other reasons some UFC fighters might have been bitter towards the retired champion. There are many people who have not been fond of his manager Ali Abdelaziz and found his presence annoying.


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Moreover, his ties to Ramzan Kadyrov as well as his video of making a homeless man do pushups were disliked by many.

While many UFC fighters may dislike Khabib, his fans would surely have some great and positive memories of him as an active fighter. What are some of your reasons for being a Khabib Nurmagomedov fan? Let us know in the comments below.

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Rohini Kottu

249 articles

Rohini Kottu is a UFC Writer at EssentiallySports. She is also a Psychologist and has a Master's degree in Clinical Psychology. Rohini, in her role as a UFC writer, combines her admiration for the mental resilience that MMA fighters have and her love for analysis.