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VIDEO: Rate Video of Khabib Nurmagomedov Demolishing Opponent in a Sambo Championship

Published 01/10/2022, 4:45 AM EST

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Former UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov isn’t short on accolades when looking at his entire combat sports career. Many newer fans would know ‘The Eagle’ through his time as arguably the best lightweight fighter on the planet. He dominated the 155-pound division and, secured three title defenses over elite fighters in the division like Justin Gaethje and Dustin Poirier.

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While Khabib Nurmagomedov’s career is synonymous with the UFC, he also has accolades in other realms of combat sports. Notably, Nurmagomedov was already a world sambo champion by the time he was just 4-0 in MMA. He has displayed his penchant for dominance and his aptitude as a born winner for a meaningful period of time.


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VIDEO: When Khabib Nurmagomedov Sizzled in an Epic Reebok Ad

A throwback to Khabib Nurmagomedov’s mat supremacy

An older video uploaded by fight library’s Blaine Henry sees a 22-year-old Khabib Nurmagomedov donning a blue wrestling gi on the mat. ‘The Eagle’ was quickly taken down by his opponent, however, he managed to secure a reversal. Upon reversing position, Khabib Nurmagomedov worked himself into mount of various positions, including side control and a crucifix.

The mounted crucifix spelled the end for Nurmagomedov’s opponent and he was hit with a barrage of lethal strikes. Looking at Nurmagomedov’s ferocity on the mat, it’s no surprise that he was a force to be reckoned with in the UFC. The referee soon had no choice but to step in and put a merciful end to the action.


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The Eagle’ secured the gold medal in the -82 kg category and built on his success from the previous year. In 2009, he won the gold medal at the Russia Combat Sambo Championships. His early career dominance on the mat served as an indicator of what was to come during his UFC tenure.


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Despite being off for over a year now, fans still want to see Nurmagomedov launch a comeback and compete in the UFC. Many believe he still has a lot of mileage left and there’s an insatiable appetite to see ‘The Eagle’ under the bright lights. However, he has clearly indicated that he’s moved on and is unlikely to ever return to active UFC competition.

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Darryl Pinto

2138 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.