Undefeated UFC lightweight Khabib Nurmagomedov is as tough as they come, the Dagestan native, who is also a Muslim, believes that an athlete needs to focus on his training and not focus on women, alcohol, and partying. While this attitude is seldom found among professional athletes, it is certainly something Nurmagomedov should be given credit for holding himself to such a high standard.
He spoke with prosports.ru in Russian, which has been translated for you.
“There are fighters in America who can drink on Friday and Saturday,” said Numagomedov. “After an event I saw it myself in the hotel – 80% of them are already drunk. Not the champs but middle-of-the-pack guys, guys like one win, two losses.
“A couple of times they called me with them to the club. I told them I’m a Muslim. And they were like ‘Come on, we know two Muslims and they visit the clubs with us all the time!’ I have tried to explain them, that a Muslim is not ideal but Islam is. Alcohol and girls stand in a way of an athlete, they spoil him and make him weak.”
Nurmagomedov also discussed his undefeated status in street fights.
“My record on the streets is more than 22-0,” he said. “But it’s all in the past though, I haven’t had an altercation for about three years. To be honest, in our city we have a lot of altercations. On the streets I fought athletes who were confident in themselves: we have all kinds of sportsmen here. Freestyle wrestlers, Judo guys, boxers, serious athletes, heavyweights, funny guys – I fought different types of people. The fights took place both standing and on the ground, I performed different submissions and chokes. It was like, I put a guy to sleep, then help him come to his senses, and we part our ways. When you are young you don’t understand that you can inflict an injury. At the same time, five years ago I was not as dangerous as I am now. I could get slept as well.”