Undisputed UFC lightweight champion Khabib “The Eagle” Nurmagomedov recently posted a photo of him with his friends, cousins and his late father, Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov. He captioned the picture, “It was a great time in Dubai after last fight.”
The fight Nurmagomedov is referring to is his bout with former lightweight interim champion Dustin “The Diamond” Poirier. This was a matchup he won in the third round via rear naked choke, thus keeping his record unblemished.
Nurmagomedov (28-0, 8 KOs) had been away from the public eye and social media for a while. He was mourning the death of his father, Abdulmanap, who passed away in July this year because of coronavirus related complications.
The photo also included some of Khabib’s friends and fellow UFC fighters, Zubaira Tughukov and Islam Makhachev. Other than that, his cousin Umar Nurmagomedov, who is also undefeated, and will make his UFC debut soon, is also in the picture.
Also present was Khabib’s coach Javier Mendez, the head coach of American Kickboxing Academy (AKA).
The comments were replete with people paying condolences to Khabib. Some reminisced about the good old days showcased in the post. However, others were excited about his upcoming bout with the interim lightweight champion, Justin “The Highlight” Gaethje.
Nurmagomedov was scheduled to face Tony Ferguson for a fifth time in April this year at UFC 249. However, due to Coronavirus imposed restrictions, he had to stay back in his country. Consequently, he pulled out of the bout.
The bout for the interim title eventually took place between Ferguson and Gaethje, where the latter won in the fifth round via TKO. This loss snapped Ferguson’s 12-fight win streak. Moreover, Gaethje replaced him for the next title shot.
Nurmagomedov, a Russian Combat Sambo expert, has looked unstoppable in the cage so far and has won all rounds but one of his professional career. One of the most dominant forces in the history of combat sports, he is yet to face any real sign of adversity in the cage.
Gaethje, on the other hand, has been repeatedly called one of the most exciting fighters in the UFC. He is an NCAA Division I All American wrestler. However, he chooses to strike, putting himself at risk while trying to knock his opponent out.
With two such contrasting styles of fighting, it will be interesting to see how this fight goes.
Will “The Eagle” impose his game plan, or will The Highlight make him face adversity like he said he would?
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