Home Sport Khabib Nurmagomedov and his cousins are the next great MMA family dynasty

Khabib Nurmagomedov and his cousins are the next great MMA family dynasty


The Nurmagomedovs are on course to become MMA’s next great family dynasty.  

Ever since the late Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov turned the bottom floor of his home into a gym for Khabib, his brothers, friends and cousins to train as youngsters, the wheels of success were set in motion. 

As UFC lightweight champion and undefeated wrestling phenomenon, Khabib is the headline act but there are three others in his family making waves as professional fighters. 

Khabib Nurmagomedov is one of four professional MMA fighters in his family

Khabib Nurmagomedov is one of four professional MMA fighters in his family 

His cousins: Usman (left), Umar (second from right) and Abubakar (right) all compete

His cousins: Usman (left), Umar (second from right) and Abubakar (right) all compete 

They were all forged in the very same Dagestani furnace under the watchful eye of Abdulmanap, who died earlier this year after complications having contracted coronavirus. 

He was regarded as a pioneering coach and created an environment for the youngsters to thrive.

Khabib defends his belt against Justin Gaethje at UFC 254 on October 24 and has compiled a perfect 28-0 record, including the famous victory over Conor McGregor. 

His legend is already well established and has put the Nurmagomedovs on the map but perhaps one of his talented cousins will one day usurp him… 

USMAN NURMAGOMEDOV (12-0)

LIGHTWEIGHT – BELLATOR

Usman is still a young man in MMA terms aged 24 but is already developing an impressive reputation.  

Khabib’s young cousin has signed a long-term contract with Bellator and, like Khabib, fights at 155-pounds with a spotless record of 12-0. 

If he hoped to fly under the radar, his surname and the words of manager Ali Abdelaziz have thrown that out of the window. 

Abdelaziz, who also manages Khabib, said: ‘He’s an absolute killer.

Khabib has watched 24-year-old Usman grow up and trained with him from a young age

Khabib has watched 24-year-old Usman grow up and trained with him from a young age 

The Nurmagomedovs have pushed each other to get better from many years together

The Nurmagomedovs have pushed each other to get better from many years together

‘He’s a Muay Thai specialist and he’s Khabib’s brother, you understand? If you have the same blood as Khabib, you have good wrestling.

‘I’m telling you, he is actually a better version than Khabib. He is better than Khabib. I’m telling you, people should watch for him. He’s an absolute killer.’

Khabib’s gameplan is no secret but does not make it any harder to stop as he mauls opponents until they have nothing left to give. 

The thought of a similarly suffocating game on the mat combined with genuine striking weapons is a frightening prospect. 

His first bout in Bellator is expected to be later this year in December or early in 2021.  

Usman Nurmagomedov is a talented striker and is being talked up as a promising fighter

Usman Nurmagomedov is a talented striker and is being talked up as a promising fighter 

ABUBAKAR NURMAGOMEDOV (15-3-1)

WELTERWEIGHT – UFC

This name might be familiar to fight fans already as Abubakar was a central character in the infamous brawl after Khabib’s win over McGregor. 

The 30-year-old scrapped with the Irishman in the cage after Khabib had jumped out to attack Dillon Danis at UFC 229. 

He was later given a one-year suspension from the Nevada State Athletic Commission and hit with a £20,000 fine. 

Abubakar, pictured here with Daniel Cormier (right) is the eldest of Khabib's cousins

Abubakar, pictured here with Daniel Cormier (right) is the eldest of Khabib’s cousins

Abubakar, Khabib’s eldest cousin, was eligible to fight from last July and made his debut for the organisation against David Zawada, losing by triangle choke. 

He is a well rounded fighter with a background in combat sambo but has a solid jab to work behind when trying to transition into a takedown. 

At 30, he is probably the least likely member of the family to reach the very top level in the UFC, particularly in a division packed with as much talent as welterweight. 

But Covid-19 has halted his progress and more will be known about his prospects when he has a handful of UFC fights under his belt. 

Khabib and Abubakar regularly train together still but the 30-year-old lost on his UFC debut

Khabib and Abubakar regularly train together still but the 30-year-old lost on his UFC debut

UMAR NURMAGOMEDOV (12-0)

BANTAMWEIGHT – UFC 

Another young cousin of Khabib, another perfect record. The 24-year-old Umar competes at bantamweight and is the smallest of the family in stature. 

He’s compiled the 12-0 record in a number of different organisations since making his professional debut back in 2016. 

Umar was supposed to make his UFC debut on Fight Island against Britain’s Nathaniel Wood earlier this summer but pulled out. 

Umar Nurmagomedov is fighting on the same card as Khabib at UFC 254 in the early pre-lims

Umar Nurmagomedov is fighting on the same card as Khabib at UFC 254 in the early pre-lims

Now he’ll be making his walk to the famous octagon for the first time on the early preliminary card of UFC 254, hours before Khabib does the same. 

Khabib has been in Umar’s corner in previous fights and his younger cousin is also predictably adept on the ground. 

As with all of the Nurmagomedovs, the cardio is incredibly impressive and it will be fascinating to see how the 24-year-old develops in the years to come. 

The 24-year-old is a rising star but yet to be tested by the more elite bantamweights

The 24-year-old is a rising star but yet to be tested by the more elite bantamweights

Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov (1962-2020) 

It is doubtful that Khabib or any of his cousins would have made it to the upper echelons of MMA without the influence of Abdulmanap. 

His technical expertise and discipline of the youngsters from childhood has molded elite level fighters.

Footage of him having Khabib wrestle a bear cub as a nine-year-old has done the rounds many times on social media but for all the old school lessons, his advice in the modern world of MMA was of huge benefit for his fighting family. 

Abdulmanap (left) guided his son through the ranks top to top of professional MMA

Abdulmanap (left) guided his son through the ranks top to top of professional MMA

At the age of nine, Nurmagomedov wrestled a bear as a test of his character

At the age of nine, Nurmagomedov wrestled a bear as a test of his character

On the bear cub sparring, Abdulmanap previously dryly commented: ‘It is a pity that there was nothing more interesting to do when he was younger.’

Nurmagomedov Sr and his three brothers moved all their 16 boys into the property that had been redeveloped as a training centre. 

Abdulmanap had sold four bulls to fund the renovations and Khabib later admitted: ‘It was a 24/7, year-round training camp, a lot like the military.’ 

The bereavement is a huge loss to MMA and the Nurmagomedov family but his legacy lives on in the fighting family dynasty. 

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