Who has done the most damage to Khabib Nurmagomedov in the UFC?
Khabib Nurmagomedov, the undefeated UFC lightweight champion, has an unbelievable professional record 28-0 ahead of his scheduled bout against Justin Gaethje at UFC 254. Khabib is arguably one of the most dominant champions out there. He is #2 behind Jon Jones in the pound-for-pound rankings and is considered to be one of the greatest lightweights of all time.
We are all wondering who has a chance to beat Khabib Nurmagomedov. Speaking of that, it is interesting to see who actually did the most damage in Khabib’s previous UFC fights. Let’s take a look at fight stats to find out who landed the most significant strikes on Khabib and when Nurmagomedov took the most damage in a single UFC fight.
On average, Khabib’s opponents land 1.65 significant strikes per minute.
1. Conor McGregor (UFC 229 on Oct. 6, 2018)
“The Notorious” landed 51 significant strikes against Khabib in their bout at UFC 229. McGregor was able to connect 34 significant strikes to the head, 16 to the body, and 1 leg kick. Most of this damage Conor did in the 3rd round which he won with 34 significant strikes (Khabib landed only 15 significant strikes in Round 3 with no takedowns).
Conor McGregor couldn’t beat the undefeated Dagestani champ but he did more damage to Khabib than anyone else could.
2. Pat Healy (UFC 165 on Sep. 21, 2013)
Pat Healy is the guy who did a lot more damage to Khabib than most of his opponents. If you look at the highlights of this fight, Healy had some great shots in the first few rounds and it was pretty competitive until the 3rd round.
In his bout against Nurmagomedov, Pat Healy landed 44 significant strikes: 27 to the head, 12 to the body, and 5 leg kicks. But it is worth mentioning that Khabib’s game evolved significantly since 2013 when he faced Healy. “The Eagle” won this fight via unanimous decision.
3. Al Iaquinta (UFC 223 on Apr. 7, 2018)
Al Iaquinta so far the only UFC fighter who managed to survive 25 minutes in the octagon against the undefeated Russian champ. Within 5 rounds, Iaquinta landed 41 significant strikes – 27 of 117 total strikes to the head, 11 of 20 to the body, and 3 of 4 leg kicks.
4. Gleison Tibau (UFC 148 on July 7, 2012)
Khabib vs Tibau fight was a very close fight with not much action. In fact, some fans believe that Khabib should have lost to Gleison Tibau.
Nurmagomedov was struggling to take Tibau down and he did not succeed in any of his 13 takedown attempts. Tibau ended up slightly outstriking Khabib by landing 28 significant strikes within 3 rounds.
5. Edson Barboza (UFC 219 on Dec. 30, 2017)
Khabib absorbed 25 significant strikes in his bout with Edson Barboza at UFC 219. Barboza landed some nasty leg kicks in the first round but after that, he couldn’t offer much against Khabib’s takedowns and his pressure on the ground.
6. Rafael Dos Anjos (UFC on Fox 11 on Apr. 19, 2014)
Dos Anjos landed 20 significant strikes within 15 minutes in his bout with Nurmagomedov: 11 sig. strikes to the head, 7 to the body, and 2 leg kicks. Khabib won the fight via unanimous decision.
Dos Anjos became a UFC lightweight champion less than a year after he fought Nurmagomedov.
7. Michael Johnson (UFC 205 on Nov. 12, 2016)
Michael Johnson had the most success against Khabib in the first round. Johnson landed a total amount of 19 significant strikes throughout the fight with 16 of them coming in the first round.
Michael Johnson was able to connect pretty well with his fast and powerful hands. Nurmagomedov absorbed these shots from Johnson and didn’t seem to be extremely hurt or rocked. Yup, we learned after this fight that Khabib got a pretty solid chin.
8. Kamal Shalorus (UFC on FX 1 on Jan. 20, 2012)
This was Khabib Nurmagomedov’s first fight in the UFC. A 23-year-old Khabib was dominating throughout the bout and he finished Shalorus in the 3rd round via rear-naked choke submission.
Shalorus landed a total of 13 significant strikes on Khabib but practically didn’t do any damage to Nurmagomedov.
9. Dustin Poirier (UFC 242 on Sep. 7, 2019)
Poirier landed only 12 significant strikes in 12 minutes that he spent in the octagon with Khabib Nurmagomedov. 5 of those 12 significant strikes were leg kicks. “The Eagle” basically took no damage in this fight and was in no danger besides Poirier’s guillotine attempt in the 3rd round.
10. Abel Trujillo (UFC 160 on May 25, 2013)
A fight against Abel Trujillo was a walk in the park for Khabib as an American martial artist was able to land only 11 significant strikes on Nurmagomedov. Trujillo couldn’t do anything with the Dagestani phenomenon’s takedowns. Khabib scored 21 takedowns within 3 rounds which is an active UFC record for most takedowns in a single fight.
11. Darrell Horcher (UFC on Fox 19 on Apr. 16, 2016)
Darrell Horcher basically did no damage to Khabib when they fought back in 2016. He only had a total of 6 significant strikes against a future UFC Lightweight champion. Nurmagomedov got a W via KO/TKO in the 2nd round.
Frankly, Khabib did have an advantage as he came in heavy at weight-ins and missed weight by 2.5 pounds.
12. Thiago Tavares (UFC on FX 7 on Jan 19, 2013)
A fight against Thiago Tavares was one of the easiest wins in Nurmagomedov’s UFC career. “The Eagle” finished Tavares in less than 2 minutes while absorbing only 2 significant strikes from a Brazilian fighter.