It seems like a lifetime ago that Khabib Nurmagomedov followed up on his dominating 2018 drubbing of Conor McGregor by leaping out of the cage onto the Irishman’s corner, sparking off a brawl in the cage that would see him and several of his own corner and training partners fined and suspended for their participation in the mayhem.
Khabib’s cousin Abubakar Nurmagomedov ended up in the cage exchanging punches with McGregor. teammate Islam Makhachev dove into the dogpile outside the cage to fight alongside Khabib, getting some shots in on Conor’s BFF and BJJ coach Dillon Danis.
Now, Khabib is getting some of the gang back together for UFC 254: Nurmagomedov vs. Gaethje on Oct. 24, 2020. In a new Instagram post, Nurmagomedov made the announcement:
“The three of us will be back one day to UFC 254,” Khabib wrote. “Abubakar Nurmagomedov, Islam Makhachev. In addition, there will be Umar Nurmagomedov. In short, there will be four fighters from our team.”
It’s worth noting that none of this is official. UFC continues to scramble to get the train tracks laid out in front of the speeding train that is its ESPN broadcast deal during the pandemic. As a result, UFC 254 remains a largely unconfirmed hole of a card. Past the Khabib vs. Gaethje Lightweight title fight, the card has just two more confirmed fights: Robert Whittaker vs. Jared Cannonier and Alexander Volkov vs. Walt Harris.
But Khabib and his manager Ali Abdelaziz certainly have the pull to make things happen, and we don’t doubt Nurmagomedov’s Dagestani compatriots will indeed share the spotlight in little more than two months.
Islam Makhachev is on a pretty impressive six-fight win streak at Lightweight and currently sits at 18-1 with his sole UFC defeat a first round knockout at the hands of Adriano Martins back in 2015. Abubakar Nurmagomedov is looking to bounce back from a bad UFC start after getting subbed in the first round of Nov. 2019’s UFC Moscow card by David Zawata.
Bantamweight Umar Nurmagomedov is another cousin of Khabib’s and UFC 254 will be his first UFC fight — but third time being booked for the promotion. An April, booking fell out due to Coronavirus and then a July bout was canceled after Umar’s coach (and Khabib’s father) Abdulmanap passed at the start of the month. The wait will be worth it, though, according to Umar’s manager Abdelaziz.
Umar Nurmagomedov (11-0) continues to show why he's a top bantamweight prospect, befuddling Sidemar Honorio with a bevy of crafty kicks en route to a dominant decision win. Khabib's younger cousin is one to watch. #PFL6 pic.twitter.com/pGxRS6cEjQ— Kyle Johnson (@VonPreux) August 9, 2019
“If you have the same blood as Khabib, you have good wrestling,” he told Asian MMA (via Lowkick MMA). “I’m telling you, he is actually a better version than Khabib. He is better than Khabib. And I’m telling you, people should watch out for him, he’s an absolute killer, he’s got the striking, he’s got the grappling, he’s got the jiu-jitsu, he’s got the look, he’s got the swagger.”
“Khabib put Dagestan on the map, but I think Umar can make Dagestan very flashy,” he continued. “He’s the guy we need to look out for, he’s a phenom. He’s a combine of Khabib, Jon Jones, uh, like Adesanya. He’s a combo of all of that.”
What do you think, Maniacs? Excited for the Dagestani brawl squad to soar again at UFC 254?