Khabib Nurmagomedov’s rise toward the top of the UFC’s lightweight division did not happen overnight. The Sambo master managed to fly under the radar while he built an impressive win streak before coming out of his shell to show the world he has what it takes to become the company’s lightweight champion by dominating Thiago Tavares in less than two minutes.
Now, Nurmagomedov is riding a major wave of momentum in the form of a six fight win streak while sitting at the third spot within his division. “The Eagle” was twice one step away from earning a shot at the UFC Lightweight Championship, but injury delayed his return to the octagon. Despite his history with injuries, Nurmagomedov is on the road to recovery and is looking better than ever in the gym. His teammate, Josh Thomson, believes there is no doubt Nurmagomedov will one day sit atop the lightweight division.
“There’s no doubt about it (that he’s a future UFC champion),” Thomson told MMA Junkie. “The current UFC champion right now is someone he already beat, and he didn’t just beat him, he destroyed him. He threw him around with ease. Outside of getting caught with something like a fluke punch or fluke kick or anything like that, I really don’t see him being beat.”
Not only does Thomson believe Nurmagomedov can become champion, but he compares his work ethic to the legendary Frankie Edgar.
“What he has, what I think a lot of people misunderstand, is that his mental (strength) is definitely what gets him through a lot of stuff,” said Thomson. “He understands his body can do everything that he wants it to do and can push harder than a lot of people’s bodies can. He reminds me of a 155-pound Frankie Edgar. There’s no quit in him”
Nurmagomedov makes his return to the octagon on December 11, 2015 at the The Ultimate Fighter 22 Finale when he faces Tony Ferguson. How do you think “The Eagle” will do in his return bout? Share your thoughts and predictions in the comment section below!
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