Umar Nurmagomedov easily defeated Raoni Barcelos at UFC APEX in Las Vegas, but despite his joy and relief, he said it would have been much easier if he had his cousin and UFC legend Khabib on his side.
Umar Nurmagomedov, the cousin of the former lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, faced off against Raoni Barcelos on Saturday night at UFC Vegas 67. Umar’s evening performance in the octagon, which was identical to how his cousin used to perform in the past, undoubtedly made his cousin proud.
— Phillip Kadek (@phillynextdoor) January 15, 2023
Khabib announced his retirement from the UFC as a fighter in the year 2020; however, the Russian continued his journey with the sport after retirement by becoming a coach and a promoter. Eagle FC is the name of the Russian fighter’s very own mixed martial arts promotion that just recently got off the ground. However, The Eagle announced a week ago that he will no longer be coaching MMA fighters and will be leaving the sport permanently.
Despite the fact that Khabib has officially parted ways with the UFC, his fellow mixed martial artists from Dagestan are continuing to demonstrate their fighting prowess in other promotions. The rising bantamweight star Umar Nurmagomedov, for example, things have been going very well for him.
Umar Nurmagomedov is a MONSTER 🥶 pic.twitter.com/SIXDHX1NJN
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Umar is currently 16-0-0 across all MMA competitions and four of those victories have come in the UFC’s Bantamweight division. This means that another fighter from Dagestan has maintained their perfect record and unbeaten streak.
However, following his victory over Raoni, ‘The Young Eagle’ granted an interview to Brett Okamoto of ESPN MMA. During the course of the interview, he was questioned about whether or not Khabib’s unexpected retirement from MMA and coaching had any influence on him in any way.
“When [Khabib] is close, it’s a big motivator for me. When he is far away, it’s more of a responsibility for me, being in front of my family and friends. But I’m good… Without [Khabib in the corner] it’s more pressure for me. With him [there] it was easy. Without him, more pressure.” said Umar Nurmagomedov.
— AlAudhli العوذلي (@alaudhli) January 15, 2023
Despite the fact that he could not be present in Vegas to witness the show live, Khabib did not forget to congratulate the rising bantamweight star on his first knockout victory.