Khabib Nurmagomedov
The Eagle


Nearly flawless in title defense
September 7, 2019
Nurmagomedov defeated Dustin Poirier via submission (rear-naked choke) at 2:06 of Round 3 at The Arena on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi on Saturday.
Nurmagomedov put his pressuring style to work early in this one, backing the challenger to the fence before attaching himself for the remainder of the frame. There was a bit of a panic moment in Round 2 when Poirier landed a shot that had the champion backpedaling but it was short lived, as Nurmagomedov methodically pressured to the fence before scoring another takedown. At this point, Nurmagomedov has answered every relevant question in his career but the most important one: can he beat fellow lightweight Tony Ferguson, who is riding a 12-fight winning streak, having last tasted defeat in May of 2012. Nurmagomedov didn't mention Ferguson specifically in his post-fight interview, but it's clear the two are on a collision course to decide who is the best lightweight fighter in the history of the division. Nurmagomedov moves to an awe-inspiring 28-0 as a result of the victory, and to make matters sweeter, he'll take home a $50,000 performance bonus for his efforts.
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Abu Dhabi title defense official
June 4, 2019
Nurmagomedov (suspension) will defend his lightweight championship against interim champion Dustin Poirier at UFC 242 on September 7 in Abu Dhabi.
This unification bout has been in the cards since Dustin Poirier took the interim belt in a showdown against Max Holloway on April 13, and now fight fans officially have a time and place. Nurmagomedov last fought against Conor McGregor at UFC 229 last October, but was dealt a nine-month suspension from the Nevada Athletic Commission due to his role in inciting a post-fight brawl. With that punishment set to lapse in July, it will free up Khabib for a fight in which he'll enter as a betting favorite. Poirier is a highly-skilled stand-up fighter that lands 5.75 significant strikes per minute, but Khabib rarely gets hit, due largely to his wrestling prowess. While Khabib could always elect to try and make a statement and stand with Poirier, he'll likely instead look to take this fight to the ground early. Poirier sports just s a 69 percent takedown defense in the UFC, and he has yet to face anyone near the raw wrestling caliber of Nurmagomedov. It will be nearly a year between fights for Khabib, but he's no stranger to long layoffs and that hasn't been an issue in the past.
Considering Nevada boycott
January 29, 2019
According to Ariel Helwani of ESPN, Numagomedov will no longer fight in the state of Nevada following the santions that were handed down Tuesday from the Nevada Athletic Commission to him and teammates Abubakar Nurmagomedov and Zubaira Tukhugov.
Nurmagomedov was issued a $500,000 fine and nine-month suspension due to his role in inciting a post-fight melee at UFC 229, which eventually roped in several teammates of both him and opponent Conor McGregor. Khabib has no choice but to pay the hefty fine considering that the state had been withholding his fight purse, but he clearly doesn't believe his teammates were treated fairly in this situation. It's already been reported that Khabib will pay the fines administered to his teammates, but now he's taking this protest to another level. Through his manager Ali Abdelaziz, Nurmagomedov says that he will not fight in Nevada until both one-year suspensions are lifted. Instead, the current lightweight champion is targeting a return for the annual November card that will be held at Madison Square Garden in New York.
Brawl punishment finalized
January 29, 2019
Nurmagomedov was fined $500,000 and handed a nine-month suspension Tuesday for his role in the UFC 229 post-fight brawl, Marc Raimondi of reports.
The suspension is retroactive to the date of the incident (Oct. 6) and can be reduced to just six months should Nurmagomedov agree to participate in an anti-bullying PSA. Assuming he chooses to do so, he'll be eligible to return to the Octagon on April 6. Even if he chooses not to film and distribute the public service announcement, Nurmagomedov would still be eligible to compete during International Fight Week, which occurs every year in July in Las Vegas. While the fine is quite hefty, it will be taken from Khabib's fight purse for the Oct. 6 event, which will finally be released upon this settlement.
Ruling on sanctions delayed
December 10, 2018
Nurmagomedov (suspension) was granted a temporary continuance by the Nevada Athletic Commission, Marc Raimondi of reports.
This means that neither Nurmagomedov or opponent Conor McGregor will receive their official punishment until action the Jan. 29 hearing, at the earliest. While the speed of these legal proceedings comes as no surprise, it was unlikely either fighter would be booking another fight in the near future anyway. Look for Nurmagomedov (and potentially a few teammates) to ultimately see a lengthier punishment, as he was the fighter that jumped outside of the cage and incited the UFC 229 post-fight brawl. Any suspension will likely give him credit for the time served already, and it's already been more than two months since the incident.
Suspension extended pending Dec. 10 hearing
October 24, 2018
Nurmogomedov had his temporary suspension extended to Dec. 10 by the Nevada State Athletic Commission on Wednesday, Damon Martin of MMA Weekly reports.
Following his victory over Conor McGregor at UFC 229, Nurmagomedov leaped over the cage in search of one of McGregor's teammates, thus inciting an all-out brawl. Both fighters will now be required to appear in person at a Dec. 10 hearing, at which point final punishments will be decided. Per state regulations, each fighter could be fined 100 percent of their purse and face a lifetime ban, though it's highly unlikely they see disciplinary action of that magnitude. It's unclear what the next step in the fight career of Nurmagomedov is at this time, but since most state commissions will honor the decision of Nevada, he will be unable to book a fight prior to his hearing date. More important for Nurmagomedov at this time is the withholding of his fight purse, as he did not receive his $2 million guaranteed payment after the fight while the commission investigated the matter. Per Damon Martin, $1 million of that purse will be released to Nurmagomedov, while the other half will remain withheld pending the Dec. 10 hearing.