UFC legend Bruce Buffer explains why Russian star Nurmagomedov needs ‘eye of the tiger’ to return (VIDEO) — RT Sport News



UFC octagon announcer Bruce Buffer has spoken about his relationship with Khabib Nurmagomedov and his late father, predicting that the lightweight champion will return if he is motivated like iconic film character Rocky Balboa.

After 25 years as the voice of the UFC, it is hard to imagine a night under the lights without the flamboyant, cinematic showmanship of Buffer.

From brightly burning prospect to the man to beat – and Buffer considers both categories of fighter to be just as worthy and in need of his inimitable introductions – Nurmagomedov’s fights have had at least one other constant, as well as his hand raised at the end of them.

Buffer has watched on while the Russian and the likes of Conor McGregor have transformed the UFC from a niche interest to a mainstream sport.

That explosive growth has allowed the man who invented his immortal catchphrase, “it’s time”, to hone his MC skills on a far more frequent basis than he did when UFC events only took place three times a year at the start of his time with the promotion.

Now a beloved veteran and as much a part of the fabric of the sport as the canvas on which its stars scrap, Buffer offers a resounding appraisal of Nurmagomedov among the huge number of fighters he speaks fondly of.

“Khabib’s a man of honor,” Buffer said when asked about his experiences with the unbeaten Nurmagomedov, speaking to RT Sport of his pleasure at becoming so familiar with a name that many announcers might have been left tongue-tied by when initially learning its pronunciation.

“I like Khabib a lot. We get along really well, I liked his dad a lot.

“Khabib is the type of fighter who needs to be lifted. He needs an opponent that’s going to lift him, that’s going to make him want to go train and do what he does and go do the Rocky V mountain snow climbs and everything else while music is playing in his ears.”

Amateur psychologists aiming to imagine how negotiations between UFC president Dana White and Nurmagomedov are going would do well to ask Buffer for his thoughts.

Few men have had such an intimate insight into the career progressions of both men. Buffer describes White as a “maverick” and admires the bullish businessman’s continued passion – a word he never shies away from using to define his own approach and one of the key sources of his success.

Nurmagomedov could have shared the spotlight with Buffer for the last time when he beat Justin Gaethje in Abu Dhabi last October, sending shockwaves shuddering through the UFC by declaring his retirement afterwards.

Buffer believes that the passing of Nurmagomedov’s inspirational father, Abdulmanap, played a pivotal part in an announcement that he feels was far from final.

“I do think that Khabib will come back,” he said. “There’s a reason why he was at the point where he was at.

“There’s a lot going on in his life, you know? You make decisions that are emotional at the time, and you sit back and you make a more relatively thoughtful decision later on, if you analyze everything. We all have a right to change our minds.”

Nurmagomedov’s one-time arch-rival, Conor McGregor, is arguably the headliner who has been most open about the way that vast wealth can change and challenge a fighter, most of whom have come from humble beginnings and worked relentlessly to reach the top of a brutal calling.

“Conor Mcgregor’s a showman, no question,” Buffer said. “There are points in [fighters’] careers where they have so much money, and that’s why it’s interesting to see Conor come back, with the hundred-plus million that he’s worth, I assume.”

Grounded in marketing and business – he says his brand with brother and fellow announcing luminary Michael is worth half a billion dollars – Buffer thinks the future for McGregor is also an active one despite his defeat to Dustin Poirier last month.

“He’s definitely one of the biggest draws, a superstar. You can still maintain your success and image in defeat.

“It’s all about how you handle yourself. The important thing would be for him to get in there in the next three-to-five months and fight again.”

With McGregor looking significantly short of the sensational form he would require to tempt Nurmagomedov to fight him again, former welterweight and middleweight champion Georges St-Pierre is the runaway favorite to provide the Dagestani’s opponent should he end his retirement, not least because of Nurmagomedov’s professed admiration for the Canadian great.

Buffer sees parallels between their potential reasons for returning. “Georges St-Pierre is another fighter that needs to be lifted,” he asserted.

“Khabib has got to be worth tens of millions of dollars by now, so you need motivation. Are they as hungry as they used to be? Probably not. Are they fighters, as they always were at heart? Yes they are.



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“[It’s a case of] ‘give me the motivation so that the fighter comes out and I can do what I am supposed to do and be who I am – Khabib Nurmagomedov.’

“That’s what I think it is with Khabib, he needs that challenge. He needs to step up to a challenge to give him that eye of the tiger feeling.”

The prospect of Nurmagomedov finding that desire is uncertain for a shrewd operator who is not consumed by the rewards of fame and adulation, but there is better news for fans of another UFC icon.

Buffer expects to spend at least another ten years doing what he loves. If he targets a 30th win, Nurmagomedov will walk out to be greeted by a figure whose assuredness about his unfinished business will have been justified.



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Khabib insists Conor McGregor will NEVER return to his fighting best despite Irishman’s renewed quest for UFC title


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Khabib Nurmagomedov retires from MMA after defending his UFC lightweight title with a broken foot | World News


Khabib Nurmagomedov has announced his retirement from mixed martial arts (MMA) after successfully defending his UFC lightweight title against Justin Gaethje at UFC 254.

Nurmagomedov extended his unbeaten record to 29-0 – his third successful title defence, having previously beaten Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier.

His win was also achieved with a broken foot.

Image:
Khabib Nurmagomedov with his late father. Pic: Instagram/Khabib Nurmagomedov


It was the Russian’s first fight without his father and coach, Abdulmanap, who died from complications caused by coronavirus earlier this year.

After his win, Nurmagomedov said: “Today I want to say this is my last fight. No way am I coming here without my father.

“When UFC called me about Justin I spoke with my mother for three days.

“She didn’t want me to fight without father and I said this is my last fight – and I have given her my word.

“Thank you so much Justin. I know you are great, I know how you take care of your people. Be close with your parents, because you never know what is going to happen tomorrow.

“Thank you coach, thank you guys. Today is my last fight in the UFC.

“It was my father’s dream. Justin and Conor will fight in January, I have choked both out, I am not interested in this.”

Khabib's gloves from his fight (Pic: UFC Twitter)
Image:
Khabib’s gloves from his fight. Pic: Twitter/UFC

UFC president Dana White revealed after the fight that Nurmagomedov had competed with a broken foot and that by retiring with a 29-0 record he has to be considered as one of the greatest MMA fighters of all time.

White said: “What this guy’s been through, we’re all lucky that we got to see him fight tonight.

“I’m hearing rumours of other things that I didn’t know about that you guys will hear about when he comes out later, I’m sure.

“Apparently, he was in the hospital, he broke his foot three weeks ago. So he has two broken toes and a bone in his foot that’s broken or something like that. That’s what his corner was telling me.

“He is one of the toughest human beings on the planet. He is just the number one pound for pound fighter in the world. And seriously, I have to start putting him up there at G.O.A.T. (greatest of all time) status with whoever else you think is the G.O.A.T.”



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Khabib Nurmagomedov retires from MMA after beating Justin Gaethje to retain his UFC lightweight title


UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov has called time on his mixed martial arts career following a second-round submission win over Justin Gaethje, leaving his gloves in the centre of the octagon to fulfil a promise to his mother.

He wore down his opponent on Saturday with his constant forward pressure before mounting Gaethje and locking him in a triangle choke that rendered the American unconscious to extend his record to 29 wins and no defeats.

Many questioned if he would have the heart for the fight against Gaethje following the July death of his 57-year-old father, Abdulmanap, due to complications caused by COVID-19.

His father had schooled him in combat sports from an early age and was in his corner in Abu Dhabi in September 2019 when Khabib choked out Dustin Poirier, on that occasion using a rear naked choke in another successful title defence.

Nurmagomedov broke down in tears after clinching the title bout, announcing the end of his career.

“I talked to my mother three days [ago]. She didn’t want me to go fight without my father, but I promised her it’s going to be my last fight, and if I give my word, I have to follow this,” an emotional Khabib said in the octagon.

“It was my last fight.

After a stunning run of 13 wins in eight years and a professional record featuring eight knockouts and 11 submission wins in his 29 victories, few would argue with the 32-year-old.

UFC president Dana White revealed after the fight that Nurmagomedov had gone into his final fight with a broken foot and several broken toes.

There had been doubts Khabib Nurmagomedov would have the heart for his first fight since the death of his father and former coach Abdulmanap (left).(Instagram: Khabib Nurmagomedov)

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Dynamic, controversial career for Nurmagomedov

Nurmagomedov, a Dagestan-born grappling specialist, was one of the most dynamic competitors in recent MMA history.

He developed a well-rounded game under the tutelage of his father and an MMA gym, culminating in his ascent to the UFC title in 2018.

Khabib Nurmagomedov punches Conor McGregor at UFC 229
Khabib Nurmagomedov’s (left) UFC lightweight title win over Conor McGregor (right) made him one of the world’s most famous combat sport athletes.(AP: John Locher)

Nurmagomedov stopped Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier in his next two bouts before his year-long absence from competition.

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His victory over McGregor made him one of the world’s most famous combat sports athletes. He also became one of the most controversial due to a wild brawl that erupted inside and outside the cage at UFC 229.

Nurmagomedov scaled the perimeter fencing of the octagon and started brawling with a member of McGregor’s team. Both fighters were escorted from the arena by police and security and were later suspended.

The UFC scheduled this pay-per-view show at an earlier-than-normal time to cater to his vast fan base in Russia and Europe.

Nurmagomedov had spoken of retirement before and his announcement confirmed he was finished with the sport after running through most of the UFC lightweight division.

“Dustin and Conor are going to fight in January,” Nurmagomedov said, referring to the probable meeting between the former contenders at UFC 257.

“I choked them both out. I’m not interested in this.”

Also on the card at UFC 254, former middleweight champion Robert Whittaker made his case for another title shot with a solid unanimous decision over fellow contender Jared Cannonier in the penultimate bout on Fight Island.

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Khabib Nurmagomedov retires from UFC after beating Justin Gaethje


Some believe Khabib Nurmagomedov is the greatest UFC fighter of all time

Khabib Nurmagomedov extended his perfect professional record as he retained his lightweight title at UFC 254 in Abu Dhabi – then announced his retirement.

Russian Nurmagomedov, 32, defeated interim champion Justin Gaethje with a second-round triangle choke submission to claim a 29th victory and unify the 155lb title.

Nurmagomedov said he had honoured the memory of his father, coach and mentor Abdulmanap, who died in July following complications arising from Covid-19.

Despite many believing Nurmagomedov would chase his 30th professional win before contemplating retirement, the emotional champion asked his team-mates to cut his gloves off before quitting.

“It was my last fight. There’s no way I’m going to come here without my father,” he said. “It was the first time after what happened with my father, when the UFC called me about (fighting) Justin, I talked with my mother for three days.

“She didn’t want me to fight without father, but I promised her it was going to be my last fight, and if I give my word, I have to follow this. It was my last fight here.

“I know only one thing I want from the UFC: Tuesday, you guys have to put me number one pound-for-pound fighter in the world because I deserve this.

“Undisputed UFC lightweight champion, 13-0, 13 in the UFC, 29 in my pro MMA career. I think I deserve this.”

Nurmagomedov ‘broke his foot three weeks ago’

“What this guy’s been through, we’re all lucky we got to see him fight tonight,” said UFC president Dana White. “I’m hearing rumours of other things that I didn’t know about. Apparently he was in the hospital. He broke his foot three weeks ago. So he has two broken toes and a bone in his foot that’s broken – that’s what his corner was telling me. Never told anybody.

“He is one of the toughest human beings on the planet and he’s the number-one pound-for-pound fighter in the world and, seriously, you have to start putting him up there with GOAT status with whoever else you think is the GOAT.”

UFC 254, which marked the final event of the sport’s second stint on Yas Island, saw the return of Nurmagomedov, who was unable to defend his title earlier this year because of Covid-19 travel restrictions in Russia.

At the time, Nurmagomedov was due to face rival Tony Ferguson at UFC 249, but Ferguson instead faced Gaethje, and was stopped in the fifth round as ‘The Highlight’ claimed the interim title and stepped into the number-one contender spot.

Gaethje was expected to pose problems for Nurmagomedov, with his collegiate wrestling experience considered a possible antidote to the champion’s smothering grappling style.

But Nurmagomedov dominated the first round with his high-pressure approach, then submitted Gaethje in the second.

Nurmagomedov added Gaethje’s name to a list of beaten opponents that also includes Dustin Poirier, Conor McGregor, Al Iaquinta and Edson Barboza.

Khabib Nurmagomedov (second right) with his team
Khabib Nurmagomedov (second right) with his team after announcing his retirement

Nurmagomedov thanked Gaethje, who had arranged for his parents to fly internationally for the first time in their lives to watch him fight for the title, and paid tribute to a man who four years ago helped him make weight when he was struggling to lose the final few pounds for his short-notice fight with Darrell Horcher.

“Thank you so much, Justin. 2016 I remember when I cut weight, you helped me a lot. Thank you, brother,” Nurmagomedov said.

“I know how you are a great man. I know how you take care of your close people. I know a lot of things about you.

“Be close with your people, because you never know what’s going to happen tomorrow. You never know.”

Whittaker wins again while Wood nets $50,000 bonus

In the night’s co-main event, Australian former UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker continued his return to form since losing his title to Israel Adesanya last October by outpointing American Jared Cannonier to move back into title contention at 185 pounds.

British bantamweight Nathaniel Wood was also in action, but was edged out on the scorecards after a back-and-forth battle with American Casey Kenney on the preliminary card. However, their 140-pound catchweight match-up was awarded “Fight of the Night” honours, with both men receiving $50,000 bonuses for their respective performances.

More tributes to Nurmagomedov

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Said Nurmagomedov knockout, video, Fight Island, updates


The Fight Island action continues to deliver for UFC fans with Sunday’s card getting off to a blistering start.

In a card headlined by a blockbuster showdown between Brian Ortega and Chan Sung Jung, it was a Nurmagomedov who stole the limelight early.

Watch UFC Fight Night: Ortega v Korean Zombie LIVE with ESPN on KAYO. New to Kayo? Get your 14-day free trial & start streaming instantly

Said Nurmagomedov went up against Mark Striegl to kick off the action and in the blink of an eye, it was all over.

Striegl had never once been knocked out in 21 fights, that spanned over his 11 year fighting career. That all changed on Sunday.

From the opening bell, Nurmagomedov was aggressive and charged at his opponent before landing the devastating left hook that dropped Striegl.

Striegl desperately grabbed onto the leg of Nurmagomedov but monster punches rained down and it wasn’t long before the referee stepped in to bring the fight to an end.

“Said Nurmagomedov kicks off a big night in combat sports in style. Wow. Drops Mark Striegl with a counter left hand basically while he’s falling backwards, that was crazy. Sub-minute KO,” ESPN’s Brett Okamoto said.

“Mark Striegl had never been knocked out in 21 bouts spanning 11+ years. Said Nurmagomedov destroyed him in less than a minute. Brutal KO,” MMA reporter Robert Sargent wrote.

“Wow. Said Nurmagomedov just brutalised Mark Striegl with some nasty ground and pound.

Emphatic finish,” MMA Fighting reporter Damon Martin wrote.

GROUND AND POUND RECORD SMASHED

Jun Yong Park just etched his name into the UFC record books in his fight against John Phillips.

The demolition job saw him land 258 ground strikes, surpassing the previous three-round UFC record of 251. Set by Matt Riddle back in 2009.

UFC FIGHT ISLAND 6 MAIN CARD

Brian Ortega vs. Chan Sung Jung

Katlyn Chookagian vs. Jéssica Andrade

Jimmy Crute vs. Modestas Bukauskas

Claudio Silva vs. James Krause

Thomas Almeida vs. Jonathan Martinez

PRELIMINARY CARD

Mateusz Gamrot vs. Guram Kutateladze

Gillian Robertson def. Poliana Botelho by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-27 x2)

Jun Yong Park def. John Phillips by unanimous decision (30-25 x3)

Fares Ziam def. Jamie Mullarkey by unanimous decision (29-28 x3)

Maxim Grishin def. Gadzhimurad Antigulov by TKO (punches) at 4:58 of round 2

Said Nurmagomedov def. Mark Striegl by TKO (punches) at 0:51 of round 1



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Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov dead after COVID-19 complications, reaction


The UFC world is in mourning after Khabib Nurmagomedov’s father, Abdulmanap, had died on Saturday (AEST).

Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov had been in hospital since April after testing positive to coronavirus and sadly lost his battle overnight in a Moscow hospital due to complications stemming from a COVID-19 infection.

Watch UFC action with ESPN on KAYO. Stream full Fight Night events live plus prelim fights for PPV events. New to Kayo? Get your 14-day free trial & start streaming instantly

Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov announced the sad news to the world.

“I’ve received sad news, friends, that Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov has left this world,” Kadyrov wrote on Telegram messenger, saying he was expressing the condolences of the “whole Chechen people.”

The fighter’s father was first hospitalised in April in his native North Caucasus region of Dagestan and was later transferred to a Moscow clinic.

Longtime rival Conor McGregor was quick to pass along words to the man who played a key role in not only shaping the dominance of Khabib, but building MMA up in Russia.

Fellow UFC fighters and UFC boss Dana White shared their condolences and heartbreak at hearing the news.

“My family’s deepest condolences to the @khabib_nurmagomedov family today. Rest In Peace,” Stipe Miocic wrote alongside a photo of Khabib and his father.

“Nothing can, and ever will replace the bond between a man and his father. @khabib_nurmagomedov we all knew what your father meant to you, this is sad and heartbreaking news. It’s hard but rest in knowing that Allah has taken away all his pain,” Kamaru Usman wrote on Instagram.

Khabib Nurmagomedov, the 31-year-old UFC lightweight champion, in May urged people in Dagestan, one of the regions hardest hit by the pandemic, to be “disciplined” and “listen to our doctors.” This week he posted a picture of his tracksuited father at a training session on Instagram with the caption “Father” as followers said they were praying for his recovery.

A week ago the fighter had given an interview to Russian television, saying that his father no longer had the virus but was still in intensive care with damage to his kidneys and heart. He said he was visiting daily although his father was not able to speak to him.

Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov trained numerous champions in judo and the Russian martial arts discipline sambo.

He began teaching his son fighting moves from the age of three, Komsomolskaya Pravda tabloid reported.

with AFP



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