Khabib Nurmagomedov welcomes former two-division champion Conor McGregor back to the Octagon at UFC 229 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Saturday, Oct. 6. Nurmagomedov will be defending his 155-pound title in the main event which airs on pay-per-view. Many experts believe Nurmagomedov’s grappling could be the difference.
But how did Nurmagomedov become such a dominant wrestler?
Well, it started with wrestling bears as a child. In an old video that has been online throughout his career, a young Khabib can be seen wrestling a bear as the much larger animal forces him to work on his strength to escape compromising positions.
The Dagestani champion became the first Russian and first Muslim to win a UFC championship thanks in large part to his training by his father, Abdulmanap. His father was a wrestler and trained in judo and sambo in the military before converting the ground floor of Nurmagomedov’s home into a gym. Khabib developed into two-time Combat Sambo World Champion before joining the UFC.
You can check out the video below.
Conor McGregor last fought in the UFC on November 12, 2016, defeating Eddie Alvarez to claim the UFC lightweight championship. At the time of his big win, McGregor became the first fighter in UFC history to hold two titles in two different weight classes simultaneously; he was also the featherweight champion at the time. Since that fight, McGregor was stripped of both belts, welcomed his first child to the world, and dabbled in the boxing world for a superfight against Floyd Mayweather Jr. Now, he is finally ready to step back into the cage to attempt to reclaim the title that he believes is still his.
Nurmagomedov, meanwhile, claimed the vacant UFC lightweight title at UFC 223 on April 7, 2018 in Brooklyn, New York. Nurmagomedov scored a unanimous decision victory win over Al Iaquinta in the main event. Khabib was initially scheduled to fight Tony Ferguson for the title, but the bout fell through in the final days leading up to the event and Iaquinta stepped up on short notice.
UFC 229 takes place Saturday, Oct. 6 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. The UFC 229 main card will air on pay-per-view, with preliminary bouts on FOX Sports 1 and UFC Fight Pass.
Along with the main event between Nurmagomedov and McGregor, other bouts currently scheduled include Sergio Pettis vs. Jussier Formiga in a battle of top flyweight contenders, former Invicta FC champion Michelle Waterson vs. Felice Herrig, Ovince Saint Preux vs. Dominick Reyes, Ryan LaFlare vs. Tony Martin, and Lina Lansberg vs. Yana Kunitskaya.