Was UFC legend Khabib Nurmagomedov really training bears when he was young?

Khabib Nurmagomedov who was a UFC lightweight champion actually practiced bears when he was young. Little wonder that no one in the region could have surpassed the Dagestani fighter inside the Octagon.

Khabib Nurmagomedov recently shed light on how he ended up wrestling with wild bears when he spoke to Megan Olivi at ESPN after the end of UFC Fight Night: Brunson vs Holland.

The conversation took place after ‘The Eagle’ officially announced the resignation of the UFC. Speaking about how he ended up weaning a bear for the first time, Khabib Nurmagomedov said:

‘My father sent me [into] wrestling with [a] bear when I said to him, ‘Hey, this bear tried to bite me. ‘And I remember when he told me like,’ Bite it back! No problem. You have to wrestle. you have to keep going. ‘”

Clearly, little Khabib was never trained to retreat in the face of unrest, even if it was a wild bear roaming the mountains of Dagestan. This mindset paid off later in life, helping Khabib become one of the greatest mixed martial artists the world has ever seen.

As the video above shows, Khabib Nurmagomedov did not take his father’s advice lightly. The young child in the video is seen shooting for two – legged takedowns and performing all sorts of moves to get the bear, with very serious consequences as if they were in a fighting game.

It is interesting that, even as a child, Khabib Nurmagomedov was able to put up a good show against a much heavier opponent in the bear.

Khabib Nurmagomedov describes his MMA journey, thanks to UFC President Dana White

During the interview, Khabib Nurmagomedov recounted his journey into the world of mixed martial arts. Not surprisingly, he credited his success in MMA with his father, Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov.

Nurmagomedov started training after becoming interested in wrestling while watching his father coach other children. Khabib himself walked on the mat and started training shortly after this.

“Since we were kids, how we grew up together, how my father took care of everything. He helped me become a world hero in sambo fighting, a two-time world champion the sambo fight.I have a 16-0 [record] outside the UFC. Then UFC signed me. There, I have a 13-fight win streak, I became a world champion. I am very happy about my trip, “said Nurmagomdeov.

Khabib Nurmagomedov also thanked Dana White for making the UFC the organization it is today and for providing the final platform for fighters around the world to showcase their skills.

Published March 22, 2021, 15:27 IST