#1 ranked UFC lightweight Khabib Nurmagomedov is widely regarded to be not only one of the best fighters in the UFC’s lightweight division, but also one of the best grapplers in the entire UFC.
With an extremely impressive grappling background that has seen ‘The Eagle’ win two Combat Sambo world championships, as well as a NAGA no-gi world championship, in addition to several national Sambo championships in Russia, Nurmagomedov has dominated his opponents with his high-paced grappling. This elite level grappling also help him to set a UFC record of ‘most takedowns landed’ in a fight, as ‘The Eagle’ landed 21 takedowns on Abel Trujillo back at UFC 160.
With a 23-0 professional record, that has seen him go 7-0 inside the Octagon, Nurmagomedov is looking to cement his place at the top of the UFC’s lightweight division at UFC 205 on November 12th when he will step into the Octagon against Michael Johnson. After going 6-0 inside the Octagon, and defeating Rafael dos Anjos in early-2014, Nurmagomedov looked poised for a lightweight title shot by the end of the year. Unfortunately, injuries sidelined the Dagestani fighter repeatedly over the course of the next two years until he made his highly anticipated return to the Octagon in April of 2016. While ‘The Eagle’ was initially slated to fight streaking lightweight Tony Ferguson, Ferguson pulled out of the fight with an injury, and was replaced with UFC newcomer Darrell Horcher, who Nurmagomedov defeated via 2nd round TKO.
Following the fight, it appeared as though Nurmagomeov would be getting a lightweight title shot against Eddie Alvarez at UFC 205 on November 12th when UFC President Dana White revealed that the fight had been offered to Nurmagomedov, not UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor.
Nurmagomedov released two photos of signed contracts for fights with Eddie Alvarez, with the first being for UFC 205, and the second being for UFC 206. Ultimately, the UFC opted to give the fight to McGregor, and have Nurmagomedov fight Michael Johnson on the card instead.
With a win over Johnson at UFC 205, ‘The Eagle’ could very well find himself next in line for a crack at the winner of McGregor vs. Alvarez.
Ahead of that fight, take a look back at Nurmagomedov’s first pro fight, where he defeated Vusal Bayramov via 1st round submission!