Khabib Nurmagomedov’s father had some harsh words for his son’s former opponent, Conor McGregor, during a Russian press conference. In fact, Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov called the Irishman a ‘showman’ and never considered him a tough opponent.
Khabib Nurmagomedov fought his longstanding rival in October 2018 at one of the most highly anticipated events in UFC history. In the main event of UFC 229, the Russian native put his grappling skillset on full display and submitted the Irish warrior in the fourth round.
Since then, Nurmagomedov has only fought once. He faced Dustin Poirier in September at UFC 242 and delivered another dominant performance, submitting ‘The Diamond’ in the third round.
Abdulmanap commented on Nurmagomedov’s two former opponents. His difference in perspective regarding both fighters was very telling. He said (Russian to English translation):
“McGregor never seemed like a tough opponent to me. He was a showman.
“In fact, the last fight against Dustin Poirier made us nervous. When he hit, when he choked, the way he behaved. He went around the entire arena and came up to greet me. I said he deserves respect.”
Whilst he speaks highly of Poirier, Abdulmanap believes ‘The Eagle’s’ win against Rafael Dos Anjos was the biggest accomplishment of his professional career. He said:
“My favourite fight of his is with Rafael Dos Anjos. I’ll explain why,
“Before the Dos Anjos fight, we trained for three months in the mountains. We put in the most work of our lives in those mountains. Khabib was as ready as ever.
“I tell him ‘Khabib if you win, I’ll be making conclusions for you and myself.’
“He says ‘What conclusions?’.
“I tell him, ‘he’s a real championship contender.’
“Dos Anjos became champion, then later Khabib became champion. Turned out it was a fight between two champions and Khabib had the full advantage. They were in their prime. After Dos Anjos lost his belt, Khabib went from fourth to second place in the rankings (when) he didn’t even fight for two years (after that.)
“Dos Anjos dominated everyone he fought against and became champion. That’s why I think it’s his best fight.”
What was your favourite Khabib Nurmagomedov fight? Let us know in the comments below.