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Dagestan’s Khabib Nurmagomedov: I’m not a role model but I can teach martial arts

Khabib Nurmagomedov, Tony Ferguson

Many mixed martial arts fans look up to Khabib “The Eagle” Nurmagomedov (Хабиб Нурмагомедов), 31, of Dagestan, Russia. But the undefeated MMA fighter, who is the reigning lightweight champion of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, does not want to be considered a role model.

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Самый большой минус в популярности я нашёл – это когда люди думают или же называют тебя примером для подражания. – Я таким не являюсь и никогда не хотел быть таким. – Я мусульманин и как для верующего человека у нас в религии есть пример для подражания, это посланник Аллаха – Мухаммад ( да благословит его Аллах и да приветствует) – Я считаю, что ни я и ни один боец и вообще ни одна знаменитость не заслуживают этого права – быть примером для подражания. – Я могу научить людей в сфере единоборств, но в жизненных ценностях мы все нуждаемся в наставлениях и в напоминаниях.

A post shared by Khabib Nurmagomedov (@khabib_nurmagomedov) on

 

For Nurmagomedov, the biggest negative effect of being popular is being regarded as a role model by other people. He said this is not what he is and he never wanted to be regarded as such.

Neither celebrities nor MMA fighters deserve the right to become a role model, Nurmagomedov pointed out. What he can offer though, he said, is to teach people in the field of martial arts.

Born in Sildi, Tsumadinsky, Dagestan on September 20, 1988, Nurmagomedov has been competing professionally as an MMA fighter since 2008. He made his UFC debut in 2012.

Nurmagomedov has been reigning as the UFC Lightweight Champion since April 7, 2018. He successfully defended the belt twice by defeating Conor “The Notorious” McGregor, 31, of Dublin, Ireland on August 3, 2018 and Dustin “The Diamond” Poirier, 31, of Coconut Creek, Florida, United States on September 7, 2019.

On April 18, 2020, Nurmagomedov will defend his belt for the third time. He and his challenger Tony “El Cucuy” Ferguson, 35, of Ventura, California, USA will headline “UFC 249” at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, USA.

The reigning UFC Lightweight World Champion holds a professional MMA record of 28 wins and 0 loss. Ferguson has 25 wins and 3 losses.

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