Khabib Talks Protege Saygid Izagakhmaev

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Khabib Talks Protege Saygid Izagakhmaev’s ONE: Heavy Hitters Bout

Khabib Nurmagomedov corners Saygid Izagakhmaev in his ONE Championship debut. Izagakhmaev tests skills against James Nakashima at ONE: Heavy Hitters on January 14th.

The former UFC lightweight world champion discussed being there for his young charge at Singapore Indoor Stadium later this week.

In the above clip, Khabib talks protege Saygid Izagakhmaev and said, “I think this is good for him. I have so much knowledge, and I can share that with him. I can give him good energy, I can motivate him, give him good knowledge because I know a lot of things in MMA. And I think I can give him good advice.”

Khabib Talks Protege Saygid Izagakhmaev

The overall martial arts journey of Izagakhmaev and this specific matchup for the ONE debut are things that Khabib has had his finger on the pulse with the entire time.

In a separate exclusive interview with ONE Championship, in transcriptions courtesy of, Khabib said, “We’re all waiting for his debut. I know Saygid has stayed in the gym every day and night, and he’s excited about his debut in ONE Championship. He’s very hungry. That is very important in this game. You have to be hungry. There are a lot of reasons why Saygid is a very dangerous opponent.”

“He began training with my father when he was very young, and I know him very, very well. He was always focused and a very hard trainer. We have a similar fighting style, like grappling, wrestling, clinching, how we move, how we use our body and our hips on the ground, but he’s a little bit taller than me. Saygid’s style is very dangerous because he’s tall. He has a long reach with his legs and arms. He has very good elbows, good clinch, and, of course, a very good on-ground game – like all of the guys from our school.”

ONE: Heavy Hitters

“When I watch how he was one year ago, right now, he’s completely different. He’s only 27 years old, and he keeps learning. I truly believe, with ONE Championship, he’s going to improve a lot, and the next couple of years are going to be very interesting for him. I’m going to be with him in Singapore.”

In summation, Khabib said, “(James) Nakashima is a very good fighter. I watched a couple of his fights. He has good wrestling, but I don’t think Nakashima can control (Saygid) in wrestling. We have a good plan. We’re going to defend his wrestling, and we’re going to give him some damage, and I really believe Saygid can finish him. We don’t underestimate Nakashima and talk about what’s next for him (Izagakhmaev). Let’s finish with him, and then we can talk. Saygid has (21) fights in his career, and he will be ready for anyone.”

What are your feelings on Khabib’s thoughts on Saygid Izagakhmaev ahead of ONE: Heavy Hitters?

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Dylan Bowker
I've been enamored with combat sports for as long as I can remember. I've hosted MMA talk shows Lights Out and Pure Fight Radio with featured guests like Jens Pulver, Roy Nelson, Miesha Tate, Mark Coleman, and more. I've been an MMA broadcaster for XFFC as well as BTC and have done play by play commentary on live pay per view on GFL as well as FITE TV. I've provided written, audio, and video content covering some of the biggest MMA promotions like Rumble in the Cage, Unified MMA, and King of the Cage. I've worked as a sports entertainment personality for over five years and given play-by-play or featured promotions of KSW, ONE Championship, TKO, and Invicta FC. My work can be found in the USA Today Sports affiliate MMA Torch, Cageside Press, MMA Sucka, and Liberty Multimedia.