When you have a dominant champion like Khabib Nurmagomedov (28-0), it is very rare to see him in compromising positions. The 31-year-old has destroyed his competition every step of the way. He is known for his superior wrestling and grappling prowess.
The road to the title was not easy for Khabib, it was rather a long one. Coming from a humble background, he did not try to talk his way to a title shot. At a point in time, he almost retired due to a broken rib.
However, he bounced back and defeated multiple opponents one after the other. Khabib captured the lightweight title by defeating Al Iaquinta in a unanimous decision victory. He would then go on to defend it against Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier.
Fans may see him as an unstoppable force inside the octagon. But there were times where the current champ was put to the test. One may think that Conor got the best of Khabib in round 3 of their fight. Maybe even refer to the Michael Johnson fight where he got tagged by Johnson.
Khabib Nurmagomedov Gets Taken Down By Gleison Tibau
Long before Michael Johnson or Conor McGregor, Khabib faced a very tough challenge against Gleison Tibau at UFC 148. The major difference between the 2 was their size. Tibau was huge for the lightweight division and cut a lot of weight to make 155 lbs.
A young Khabib began the round with his forward pressure. He tried to take Tibau down at multiple occasions but all of Khabib’s takedowns got stuffed. Regardless of that, Khabib continued with his forward pressure while trying to establish his dominance.
In a shocking turn of events, Tibau was able to takedown Khabib for a brief moment but did not succeed in keeping him there. Khabib quickly got on his feet. From there onwards, neither man succeeded in taking each other down.
Watch the video highlights below capturing all the action from Nurmagomedov vs Tibau.
In the end, the decision was awarded to Khabib. Many still argue that Khabib lost the fight against Tibau. And it is to be noted that Tibau tested positive for PEDs. Besides, that Khabib was very new to the game and has made significant improvements throughout the years.
Khabib will face Tony Ferguson at UFC 249 in April. It is one of the most anticipated fights of this year.
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MMA & Boxing Writer at EssentiallySports