“Imagine if These Young Basketball Players Got to Play With Michael Jordan”- Belal Muhammad on Training With Khabib Nurmagomedov

Published 04/04/2022, 9:16 AM EDT
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)

Khabib Nurmagomedov dominated the UFC lightweight division during his reign as the champion. He became a brand in himself and opened doors for many aspiring young Russian MMA fighters to move to the promotion. He presently owns his own MMA promotion called the Eagle Fighting Championship and also trains some fighters, who are currently fighting in the UFC.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Islam Makhachev, Umar Nurmagomedov, and a few other top prospects train under the UFC Hall of Famer. They all showcase a similar style of fighting that Nurmagomedov made famous during his unbeaten career.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Recently, UFC welterweight fighter Belal Muhammad was asked about his experience of training with ‘The Eagle.’ He had nothing but praise and respect for Nurmagomedov’s humbleness, the way he holds himself and coaches other fighters.

On the latest episode of the AbzTalks podcast, Muhammad revealed, “Honestly it was amazing. I was there for… um… 10 days down there with him and his team and… you know, like he’s such an icon, such a huge mentor for any Muslim fighter. If you’re a fighter or if you’re a Muslim in general, just to see that the way he holds himself, the whole way that the world sees him as such a humble guy, and like he’s truly that even in person.”

He then focused on the training experience with the “GOAT” and called Nurmagomedov the Michael Jordan of MMA.

“Being able to actually train and move and learn from him was even better too because you’re learning from the GOAT. You’re learning from the Michael Jordan of the sport… Imagine if like these younger basketball players got to play with Michael Jordan in his prime. Khabib’ still in his prime, it’s not like he fell off or anything like that,” said Muhammad.

He also praised the rigorous training Dagestani fighters go through and praised their sturdy persona while calling ‘The Eagle’ “not the nicest coach.”

He added, “He [Khabib Nurmagomedov] is a beast, so I got to roll with him, got to train with him, and get under his coaching where you know he’s not the nicest coach. So it’s good just to see how those guys train because all those guys, the Dagestani guys, they’re all monsters, they’re all beasts.”

Belal Muhammad had a 10-day training camp with Khabib Nurmagomedov and his team before his UFC Vegas 21 fight against Leon Edwards. 

Joe Rogan calls Khabib Nurmagomedov the “GOAT”

Joe Rogan has been a part of the UFC for a long time and saw many top fighters perform live. He also hosts his podcast, the Joe Rogan Experience, where he chimes upon various topics, including UFC, with his guests.

During a recent JRE episode, Rogan was discussing UFC fighters with Russian origins and praised them for their brute strength. He mentioned the top welterweight prospect Khamzat Chimaev and called him “one of the top fighters” in the industry.

He also mentioned Khabib Nurmagomedov too, and pretty casually called him the GOAT. 

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Rogan said, “One of the top guys right now is from Chechnya, this guy Khamzat Chimaev.” “There’s obviously Khabib, Khabib Nurmagomedov, who’s the G.O.A.T, he’s from Dagestan,” he added.

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – OCTOBER 25: Khabib Nurmagomedov of Russia celebrates 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)

Nurmagomedov retired as an MMA fighter in 2020 with a flawless 29-0 record. UFC recently inducted him to the UFC Hall of Fame – Modern Wing at UFC 272: Colby Covington vs. Jorge Masvidal.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Is Belal Muhammad right in calling Khabib Nurmagomedov the Michael Jordan of MMA? Share your thoughts in the comments down below.

WATCH THIS STORY: Five Moments Where Khabib Nurmagomedov Was the Funniest Guy In The Room

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

ADVERTISEMENT

Utkarsh Gathani

150 articles

Utkarsh Gathani is a UFC writer at EssentiallySports. A Mass Communication graduate from Wilson College, this sports buff, who is captivated by multiple sports, adores MMA. Conor McGregor is the reason for that as Utkarsh is in awe of the man's unbelievable striking ability, his lifestyle, and his trash talking.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT