Khabib Nurmagomedov Explains Why Movlid Khaybulaev Was His Main Sparring Partner for His Last Fight

Published 01/15/2022, 6:40 AM EST
ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – SEPTEMBER 07: Khabib Nurmagomedov of Russia stands in his corner 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)


Khabib Nurmagomedov has had one of the greatest runs in the history of mixed martial arts. ‘The Eagle’ conquered the lightweight division and beat some of the best fighters (Conor McGregor, Justin Gaethje, and Dustin Poirier) during his stint.

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The last time we saw the Dagestani in the octagon was when he took on Justin Gaethje for the lightweight title. Recently, Khabib revealed why he chose Movlid Khaybulaev as his sparring partner for the fight.

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On his channel, Khabib said,” I know Movlid, I think more than like maybe 14 years. 13-14 years like since like 2007, when he come to when he came to my father’s training. All these years, we trained together. We know each other very good and you know he is like for my couple fights. He was my main sparring partner.”

When asked why he chose Khaybulaev to spar with him, Khabib answered, “Because of his, you know he have good defense, on wrestling defense. He know how to wrestle. And you know, it’s like he was not the main sparring partner. He was one of the main. “

‘The Eagle’ added, “But for last fight, he (Khaybulaev) a little bit style like Gaethje, you know. He knows how to kick, punch and his wrestling defense is very good. That’s why for last fight he was like the main sparring partner”

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Why did Khabib Nurmagomedov retire?

Khabib Nurmagomedov announced his retirement after his bout against Justin Gaethje on the 24th of October, 2020, at UFC 254. ‘The Eagle’ retired from fighting because he made a promise to his mother that he would not continue in the fight business without his father by his side.

The MMA legend had lost his father a few months before the bout due to complications after COVID-19.

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ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – OCTOBER 25: Khabib Nurmagomedov of Russia announces his retirement in the Octagon after 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)

Dana White has approached him in hopes of a return many times. But the Russian has stayed true to the word he gave to his mother.

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Pranit Punjabi

280 articles

Pranit Punjabi is a UFC author at EssentiallySports. A third-year psychology major, this Justin Gaethje fan merged his interest in psychology with his deep passion for MMA and was intrigued by this new angle to help him get closer to the action. Pranit aims to look through the violence and chaos, into what makes MMA truly beautiful, the deep and rich psychological aspect of the game.

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