Morning Report: Khabib Nurmagomedov celebrates cousin Umar’s win, wants him to fight two more times in 2021


UFC Fight Night: Nurmagomedov v Morozov
Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

Yesterday at UFC Fight Island 8, UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov’s cousin Umar Nurmagomedov made his long-awaited UFC debut and did so in style, submitting former M-1 Global bantamweight champion Sergey Morozov in the second round with a rear-naked choke. The performance was good enough to earn Umar a Performance of the Night bonus and now that Umar is officially in the UFC, Khabib would like for him to have a very active year.

“To be honest, I am very happy,” Khabib told RT Sport following Umar’s victory. “It really feels like a load off my shoulders. It’s a very important win for our team and our family. We will keep working. It would be nice to have one more fight in Las Vegas this March. If not, we will fight after Ramadan. We have plenty of time ahead of us. Umar is just 25. Two more fights this year would be perfect.”

Following his father’s passing due to COVID-19 last year, Khabib has taken over some of the coaching responsibilities for his fight team. After the bout, Umar was hard on his own performance saying it was not his best showing and though Khabib agrees that Umar could have done better, when asked about it, Khabib likened Umar’s performance to his own UFC debut.

“I don’t think it would be good to criticize him now,” Khabib said. “When he was fighting I recalled my own first round in the UFC back in 2012 when I could not find my rhythm, my range, feel the octagon. It takes time. He will grow with every single fight and I don’t want to rush. when you are just 25 you are definitely far from your full potential. When you are 28, 29, or 30, that’s the time we need to get him to reach his mental and physical peak. Now his physical condition may be at the maximum but mentally he is not there yet.

“Everything should come together at the very top of your potential just by the moment you will have the biggest fight of your career – your physique, your mentality, and your most important fight. That’s when you are set to make history. He is still very young now.”

Coincidentally, Umar’s debut fell on the nine-year anniversary of Khabib’s own UFC debut, a third-round rear-naked choke submission of Kamal Shalorus. In fact, Khabib’s debut was similar to Umar’s in that he was a much-hyped prospect finally arriving in the UFC with high expectations. Certainly those expectations are raised for Umar after all that Khabib has accomplished but Khabib is confident that as Umar gains more experience fighting in the UFC, he too will rise to the occasion.

“It’s very big, not only for us but for Umar,” Khabib concluded. “It’s good for him in terms of his emotional maturity. A very important experience to gain. Entering the octagon over and over again makes you a different animal, a different fighter. Today you could see how Umar rocked him and ran over him trying to finish the fight right away. He won’t make the same mistake in his tenth fight. He will be a sniper, not a machine gunner.”


TOP STORIES

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VIDEO STEW

UFC Fight Island 8 Post Show.

UFC Fight Island 8 Post-Fight Press Conference.

Conor sits down with Megan Olivi.

Bellator really going heavy on Michael Chandler content this week.

Chandler on TMZ Sports.


LISTEN UP

On to the Next One. Matches to make following UFC Fight Island 8.

Heavy Hands. Discussing the biggest fights at UFC 257.


SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE

Jersey swap.

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A post shared by Michael Chiesa (@mikemav22)

Statements.

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A post shared by Neil Magny (@neil_magny170)

Till now leaning into it.

Good guy Max.

Lists.

I mean, she’s not wrong . . .

Shade.

The no-nonsense Keith Peterson.

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The before.


FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Phil Hawes (9-2) vs. Nassourdine Imavov (9-2); UFC Fight Night, Feb. 20.

Bea Malecki (4-0) vs. Norma Dumont (5-1); UFC Fight Night, Apr. 10.


FINAL THOUGHTS

Thanks for reading and see y’all tomorrow.


EXIT POLL


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