Biography of Abubakar Nurmagomedov
Abubakar Magomedovich Nurmagomedov is an athlete who competes in MMA in the welterweight category under the auspices of the UFC. Previously, he was a sambo wrestler, champion of the Russian Federation and bronze medalist of the World Combat Sambo Championship. He is a cousin of Khabib Nurmagomedov.
In the photo: Abubakar Nurmagomedov
Childhood and youth
The future fighter was born on November 13, 1989 in the Dagestan village of Goksuv-otar. By nationality, he is a native Avar, comes from a family of hereditary wrestlers, the Nurmagomedovs.
Abubakar and Khabib Nurmagomedov
His cousin Khabib is an undefeated mixed martial artist and former UFC lightweight champion. Uncle Abdulmanap (father of Khabib), the master of sports of the USSR in freestyle wrestling, honored coach of Russia, died in 2023 due to coronavirus heart complications. Uncle’s brother, Nurmagomed Nurmagomedov, ex-world sambo champion, represented Ukraine at the 1992 tournament.
The boy’s first mentor was Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov. Under his leadership, from the age of 9, Abubakar was engaged in freestyle wrestling, successfully mastered basic techniques, and developed a desire for self-improvement.
Abdulnamal Nurmagomedov – Abubakar’s first mentor
In 2001, Uncle Abdulmanap moved with his family to Makhachkala and gathered 15 talented children under his roof, including Abubakar, organizing a small sports camp. They lived and trained together for about eight years.
Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov and Abubakar
After graduation, the young man changed the type of martial arts. Abdulmanap then became the champion of Ukraine in sambo and judo and began to teach his son Khabib and other guys in combat sambo. It was in this discipline that Abubakar won his first high titles and awards: the title of champion of Dagestan, then of Russia in combat sambo, and later – a bronze medal at the World Championship.
In 2011, the athlete focused on mixed martial arts. He had his debut fight in October in his homeland, in Khasavyurt, where the ProFC league, which stood at the origins of domestic MMA, organized the Battle in the Caucasus tournament. In the first round, the Dagestani won a victory over the Chechen fighter Ibragim Dzhantukhanov, using the armbar. And in July 2012, at the Caucasus League tournament, he defeated Anatoly Safronov, a native of Kharkov, with a triangle choke hold.
Abubakar Nurmagomedov in training
With perseverance, willpower and a high level of training, Nurmagomedov won 8 of his first fights in MMA. In particular, in 2013 at the St. Petersburg Championships, he brilliantly applied “kimura”, one of the most famous painful techniques invented by judokas. Already in the second minute of the battle, the opponent, the titled Belarusian athlete Yuri Grigoryan, was defeated.
However, in 2014, a serious cut received during a duel with a fighter from Dagestan, Magomed Mustafaev, did not allow Abubakar to win (as in three previous fights by TKO), but led to his first defeat in his professional career.
Magomed Mustafaev – the first defeat in Nurmagomedov’s professional career
Continuing to train actively, in February of the following year, the 25-year-old athlete closed the defeat with a victory in the first round of the fight with a fighter from Ukraine Vladimir Gunzu, and in March he signed a contract with the American promotion WSOF (World Series of Fighting, translated as World Series of Fighting). This event was an important stage in his biography.
The starting match under the auspices of the WSOF with the American fighter Jorge Moreno, the Caucasian won by unanimous decision. Four of his subsequent appearances were also successful, including bright meetings in the octagon, which took place in 2016: in Las Vegas with 22-year-old Australian Matthew Frink, whom he sent to a technical knockout, and in Kansas City against the titled 33-year-old American John Howard . He defeated his opponent by unanimous decision.
Abubakar Nurmagomedov in the ring
In 2018, Nurmagomedov was unexpectedly defeated by the Ukrainian Pavel Kushch, falling for a rear naked choke he carried out in the second round. Their fight took place in Washington after the rebranding and reorganization of the promotion from WSOF to PFL (Professional Fighters League).
Under the auspices of the PFL in the same year, the Russian had two more fights: a victorious one with the Swedish athlete Jonathan Westin and ending in a draw with the Serbian fighter Bojan Velichkovic. A first-round lead in the latter event still allowed him to reach the semi-finals of the PFL Welterweight Grand Prix. But he refused further participation in the tournament, citing an injury.
In October 2018, the Dagestan fighter became a participant in a fight that ensued in Paradise, Nevada, at the UFC 229 tournament after Khabib Nurmagomedov defeated Conor McGregor, when he performed a rather rare submission in the MMA world – a painful hold in the jaw.
Irish fighter Conor McGregor
According to Abubakar, the incident was provoked by the insults of the members of the Irish athlete’s team against the Dagestanis and Islam. The Nevada State Athletic Commission NSAC punished the participants in the conflict with fines and suspension from fights. Abubakar received a one-year suspension (later reduced to 35 days) and a $25,000 fine. Khabib was suspended for nine months and fined $500,000.
In 2019, at the suggestion of his eminent cousin, Abubakar Nurmagomedov signed a contract with the UFC. Khabib helped him in preparation for the first fight – he gave advice on training, daily routine, diet for weight loss.
Khabib pushed barat to sign a contract with the UFC
Abubakar’s debut fight under the auspices of the UFC took place in November at the Fight Night 163 tournament in Moscow. The first pancake turned out to be lumpy – already in the third minute of the fight, he fell for the “triangle” choke hold of the German fighter David Zawada and knocked as a sign of his early surrender, which caused a lot of negativity and ridicule from the audience.
The fact is that his uncle and coach Abdulmanap always said that knocking on the floor or on an opponent, signaling a recognition of defeat, is a shameful thing for his fighters, and Khabib even called surrender “a shame for life.” Abubakar, who most successfully applied downward transfers with control on the floor and was considered a master of wrestling on the ground (where he gave up), subsequently apologized to the team and fans for this loss, assuring that next time he would try to show his best side.
Abubakar Nurmagomedov and David Zavada
At UFC 260, held in March 2023 in Las Vegas, the athlete fulfilled his promise to fans and the team to surpass himself and show class after a failed debut performance in the Ultimate Fighting Championship, the biggest MMA promotion.
Throughout the fight against the American Jared Gooden, he looked preferable to the opponent. And in the third round, the judges awarded him a well-deserved victory. In the corner of the Russian fighter was the “Eagle”, as they called Khabib. The presence of his brother was a great support for Abubakar, additional responsibility and good motivation for victory.
Abubakar Nurmagomedov vs American Jared Gooden
In the same period, Nurmagomedov publicly expressed his readiness and desire to fight under the auspices of the UFC against the American MMA fighter, former professional boxer Mike Perry.
Personal life of Abubakar Nurmagomedov
There is no information about the personal life of a Muslim Avar in open sources. He is known to be very religious and close to Khabib. They strictly observe the precepts of the Koran, do not smoke, do not drink alcohol, and during Ramadan they refuse to fight. Together, the brothers performed Umrah (small Hajj) to Mecca.
Abubakar is a very religious person
Friends (in particular, his former classmate Islam Makhachev) call Abubakar “the most violent” among his ten brothers. He is active on social media, regularly posting photos and videos on Instagram showing his daily life, including photos of training sessions with Khabib.
In May 2023, a Dagestani reacted sharply to the words of an athlete of Chechen origin Khamzat Chimaev that he would “tear” his brother Khabib, suggesting that he “be careful in his statements.” Chimaev represented Sweden in mixed martial arts competitions, where he left in 2013 as a refugee. So he spoke about Khabib after Ramzan Kadyrov called the ex-champion a “UFC project.”
The Nurmagomedov brothers are close to each other not only in the profession, but also in life.
The head of Chechnya also announced his readiness to give him any fee, more than in the UFC, for his performance in Akhmat (WFCA, based in Grozny) to see if he can resist the representatives of this club. By the way, according to media reports, for the victory in the last fight for the UFC lightweight division title with American Justin Ray Gaethje, the Eagle earned from $3 million to $6 million.
Abubakar Nurmagomedov now
As of June 2023, Abubakar had 20 fights on his account, 16 of which ended in victory for him, one in a draw. He lost three times: in 2014 to a native of Dagestan Magomed Mustafaev, in 2018 to Ukrainian Pavel Kushch and in 2019 to a fighter from Germany David Zavada.
Abubakar Nurmagomedov now
In June, the UFC announced that Abubakar’s next fight would be against American Daniel Rodriguez, who has 14 wins and two losses. Their fight was supposed to take place on July 18 in Las Vegas at the Vegas 31 tournament, but Abubakar pulled out of the fight due to an injury.
- According to the memoirs of the Dagestan “Eagle”, his cousin Abubakar has always been distinguished by a cocky character and arrogant behavior, having received a real fighting hardening on the Dagestan streets. In his autobiographical book Khabib Time, Khabib noted that Abubakar provoked about 80% of the fights in which they participated with him in his childhood almost every day: “Together they did anyone, even if there were a little more opponents.”
- According to the coach and co-founder of AKA (American Kickboxing Academy) Javier Mendez, the athlete from Dagestan is distinguished by “killer street humor” and “pirate charm”. By the ability to make the team laugh, he included him, Khabib and Daniel Cormier in the top 3 MMA fighters.
- Abubakar called his most important human dream a great desire to go to heaven.
- Arriving with his brothers in San Francisco, Abubakar always takes a picture with one of the police officers he meets and then posts this photo on social networks. He likes that the local law enforcement officers, unlike Russian ones, treat proposals to “take a picture” positively.
- In 2023, on his Twitter, the Dagestani named Aljamain Sterling, the owner of the bantamweight championship belt, as his favorite actor (he wrote: “My favorite actor”) and attached his photo taken during the fight with Russian Peter Yan to the text of the message. As a result of that fight, the American became the first fighter in UFC history to receive the title of champion due to the disqualification of the opponent.
Important events in life
- 2011 – the beginning of performances in martial arts of mixed style at a professional level.
- 2011-2014 – a series of eight victorious fights in MMA.
- 2014 – a fight with the Dagestani Magomed Mustafaev and the first defeat in his career.
- 2015 – signing a contract with the American WSOF promotion, winning the debut fight under the auspices of the WSOF with fighter Jorge Moreno.
- 2018 – defeat in a fight with the Ukrainian fighter Pavel Kushch.
- 2019 – a contract with the Ultimate Fighting Championship and a disastrous opening performance against the German David Zawada.
- 2021 – victory at the UFC 260 tournament over the American athlete Jared Gooden.