Khabib Nurmagomedov has had an amazing run in the UFC. The lightweight champion is 29-0 and is ready to walk away on top of the sport he has dominated for over a decade. Now it seems the Russian fighter is ready to walk away from the sport forever, just when he is finally coming into the limelight. These past three years have been the biggest for Nurmagomedov, from winning the UFC title to the fight with Conor McGregor, and headlining the biggest Pay-Per-Views, it seems that Nurmagomedov has more to give. He has even made history in another way, as he was most recently named the BBC World Sports Star award, the first MMA fighter to ever have that honor.
“This award means a lot for me,” Nurmagomedov wrote on Instagram. “Recognition is the one of the biggest motivation in the life, as in the sport.”
The fact that Nurmagomedov went on to defeat Justin Gaethje at UFC 254 just months after the loss of his father and main coach played a role in why Nurmagomedov was chosen for this award. Although he only fought once in 2020, his popularity can speak for itself in the list of athletes he beat out for this award. According to the BBC article, he beat out the like of LeBron James, golfer Dustin Johnson, French footballer Wendie Renard, boxer Katie Taylor, and more.
Although Nurmagomedov’s future with the UFC is uncertain, He is still making moves outside the UFC. Nurmagomedov recently acquired a fight promotion of his own, Eagle Fighting Championship which is based out of Russia but Nurmagomedov has plans to take in global. Khabib Nurmagomedov will also be meeting with UFC president Dana White in the upcoming weeks, the conversation could have something to do with this new promotion, but fans are holding out that a return to fighting is possible.