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Are Khabib Nurmagomedov‘s businesses in jeopardy? It is said that the former UFC champion was asked to pay over 300 million roubles (or around $3.3 million) after the Federal Tax Service, Russia’s tax collection agency, found discrepancies in some of the businesses owned by ‘The Eagle’. This prompted it to order a full audit of the numerous companies owned by the Dagestani or in which he had stakes and seats on the board. Amid these legal troubles, sources suggest that Nurmagomedov has changed his nationality.

There are claims about him giving up his Russian citizenship to become a citizen of the United Arab Emirates. However, Nurmagomedov or his team have not confirmed or denied this yet. If the claims are true, it is certainly remarkable that the Dagestani managed to get UAE citizenship as the country rarely gives it even to people who have lived and worked there their whole lives.

But let’s not forget that the UAE welcomes qualified foreign nationals to its country. As per ‘Global Citizens Solutions’, individuals with “exceptional talents in sports” qualify for citizenship.

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Also, there’s a Khabib-inspired gym by Palms Sports in Abu Dhabi. So the establishment also has an MMA cage along with other facilities. Clearly, Khabib Nurmagomedov’s influence in the country is big. While for now, his citizenship rumors aren’t confirmed, his team did share a statement about the undefeated UFC champ’s legal issues in Russia.

As a first step, the government agency had blocked accounts belonging to some of Nurmagomedov’s companies, including (the now almost defunct) Eagle FC, the former UFC superstar’s fight promotion. It has been reported that some of the alleged investments Nurmagomedov has been making in the Middle East (where he has very good relationships with the royal families) raised the tax agency’s eyebrows about possible tax evasion.

Nurmagomedov’s team, according to a report in TAFF, has denied the charges. “The information about tax debt is inaccurate. Khabib continues to engage in business projects and develop them,” his team claimed. Now whether the tax issue and a change in citizenship are connected is not known. However, Nurmagomedov isn’t the only one to take up Emirati citizenship. Another UFC star did it recently.

When did Khamzat Chimaev become a UAE citizen?

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In 2023, several reports suggested Chimaev chose to become a UAE citizen. Let’s not forget the fighter was born in the then-independent Chechen Republic of Ichkeria. It later became part of the Russian Federation and today, it is known as the Chechen Republic.

However, as a teenager, he moved to Sweden with his mother and continued his wrestling career. Soon he made quite a big name there and with his run in the UFC, he became a global sensation. But recently, his BJJ coach Alan Nascimento, claimed that ‘Borz’ never had Swedish citizenship.

“The thing is, Chimaev doesn’t have Swedish passport… He’s not a Swedish citizen. He never was. He has a Russian passport. With this situation going on, the war, it’s hard for anyone to travel around the world with a Russian passport. Especially for a Chechen,” the coach opined.

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“[Chimaev] just got a 10-year visa in Abu Dhabi and will apply for a type of passport here in the U.A.E., something like a citizenship, that could be used for travels,” Nascimento further said. As per the information available, Khamzat Chimaev will represent the United Arab Emirates in the UFC.

But going back to Khabib Nurmagomedov’s citizenship rumors, people will have to wait and see if the MMA star or his team comments on it.