Umar Nurmagomedov: A UFC Champion in the Making
Umar Nurmagomedov is booked to fight 26-year old Wagner Lima (professional record 12:3) on December 14, 2018 for the “Battle on Volga” Bantamweight championship. This fight will be held in Samara, Russia.
With the spotlight shining squarely on him ahead of his historic title fight against Conor McGregor, Khabib Nurmagomedov is rapidly attracting fans to Team Nurmagomedov. But what many of Khabib’s supporters don’t know is that he’s hardly the only world-class Nurmagomedov who competes in MMA. His cousin, Abubakar, has compiled a great professional record, as has his second cousin, Shamil Zavurov.
With that said, it’s Khabib’s undefeated 22-year-old cousin, Umar Nurmagomedov, who is expected to bring another and perhaps the next UFC belt into the family. Umar’s professional record at this point is 8:0. He trains together with Khabib; coached by Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov while at home and Javier Mendes at the AKA gym in San Jose, California.
Date of birth: January 3, 1996;
Height: 5’9” (176 sm);
Weight: 135 lbs (61.23 kg);
Background: Wrestling, Combat Sambo, Muay Thai.
A professional since 2016, Umar has fought predominantly at bantamweight, although it’s apparent from his physique and his in-cage dominance that he could move up to featherweight and be similarly successful.
After accumulating several outstanding victories in Russia’s largest and most well-known MMA promotion, Fight Nights Global, Umar signed with the Professional Fighters League (formerly the World Series of Fighting) and handed another promising prospect, Saidyokub Kahramonov, his first career loss. Unfortunately, Nurmagomedov isn’t participating in the PFL’s current million-dollar tournament.
Umar is stylistically similar to Khabib and Dagestani martial artists in general. Having wrestled since his youth, Umar is apparently most comfortable and capable when he’s in the clinch or on top. His ground strikes are thunderous, and his submission skills are impressive, to say the least; half of his contests have been stopped via submission or knockout. What’s more is that Nurmagomedov boasts an ability to avoid danger on the mat that’s uncommon in fighters ten years his senior.
Just because he’s well-versed and comfortable on the canvas doesn’t mean that Umar can’t strike (for example, some people think that Khabib’s striking isn’t that great) and that’s where it gets very interesting. Umar is very dangerous on his feet as he has a Muay Thai and combat sambo background.
To be sure, his diverse array of sick leg kicks and punches is put on display in most of his bouts. Perhaps Umar’s youth, confidence, and longtime training in stand-up have convinced him to let his strikes fly; he throws smashing head kicks, cracking straight punches and hooks, and even well-timed front kicks with surprising frequency and resolve.
Nothing is guaranteed in the crazy and unpredictable world of MMA. But given his background, pedigree, noteworthy wins, and fight IQ, Umar Nurmagomedov appears to be destined for a great future once he signs with the UFC (with the way things go right now, he will probably have a UFC debut very soon). While he has a long road before him, he could one day be wearing gold around his waist, just like Khabib is.
In the meantime, be sure to enjoy his fights and tell as many others as possible about his potential.
You’ll be the envy of MMA fans and critics for properly identifying a future champion so early in his career, and you’ll also be treated to fantastic combat-sports action for the ultra-affordable price of free (the Professional Fighters League airs its shows on NBC Sports).
Stay tuned for more info, and thanks for reading!