Khabib was so dominant he spoke to rivals in the cage – including Conor McGregor

Former UFC lightweight champion Nurmagomedov never lost a fight and was rarely at the bottom of a bad round – he became famous for his trash-talking in the cage

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Usman Nurmagomedov: Khabib could be a better coach than a fighter

Khabib Nurmagomedov was never a great talker outside the cage – he preferred to talk during fights.

The former UFC lightweight champion went 29-0 in his legendary pro career before hanging up the gloves in 2020 following the death of his father Abdulmanap. The Dagestani fighter was often known for his calmness outside of the cage and rarely engaged in pre-fight antics like his rivals at the top of the promotion.

But he was willing to make a few trashy speeches at a time that many felt was inconvenient; in the midst of his struggles. He first came to prominence with his mid-round speech during his UFC 205 fight with Michael Johnson, where he demanded a fight with the winner Conor McGregor and Eddie Alvarez’s easy title fight scheduled for the main event.

Here are some of the most memorable moments of Khabib Nurmagomedov speaking during the fights…

vs. Conor McGregor – October 6, 2018

The bad blood between McGregor and Nurmagomedov was legendary and very real. Over 2.4million fans bought the pay-per-view to see the two lightweight superstars meet to finally settle their dispute, which had become so heated that the Irishman had some over an attack on his rival’s bus spent time in prison.

McGregor teased Nurmagomedov at every available opportunity leading up to the fight, mercilessly taunting him, his family and even his manager Ali Abdelaziz. He taunted his rival with bottles of his whiskey, which the Russian’s Islamic faith banned at their opening press conference, and insulted him by every name under the sun.

But it was Nurmagomedov who had the upper hand as the pair were locked in the cage on fight night. He used his vicious grappling to bring the fight to the ground and famously told McGregor, “Let’s talk now,” while raining punches.

The rivalry didn’t end when McGregor busted in the fourth round and Nurmagomedov jumped out of the cage to attack his cornerman Dillon Danis and the two still can’t share a room.

Khabib Nurmagomedov spoke in the cage


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v Michael Johnson – November 13, 2016

Johnson and Nurmagomedov’s relationship was much less intense than his with McGregor. As such, the Russian instead directed his ire at UFC President Dana White, who he believed had used him as a negotiating tool to make the main event Alvarez v McGregor.

The Johnson fight featured the famous instances where Nurmagmedov was shaken up and looked in trouble, but other than those brief seconds, he dominated the contest en route to a third-round submission victory.

During the fight, he told Johnson, “Surrender, Michael. Surrender, Mike” before adding, “You have to surrender, Mike. I need [my] title shot. You know that, I deserve it. I tell everyone I deserve this. Hey, I need my title.”

He then turned his attention to White and told the UFC boss: “Hey, hey! I’m going to smash your boy,” referring to McGregor. “Yes, of course,” he added. “I know it’s me.”

Khabib Nurmagomedov brutally beat Michael Johnson and had time for chats in the cage


Zufa LLC)

vs Edson Barboza – December 31, 2017

This one is less scary than the other two, with Nurmagomedov waiting until he’s in the corner between rounds to talk to Dana White.

He obliterated famed forward Barboza over three rounds to secure his shot at the lightweight title, which he won against Al Iaquinta the following April after the belt was vacated. But during the fight, he again decided to go after White and had a lengthy conversation with his boss.

“Dana, do you want to talk a little?” He asked the promotion boss, and White asked what he wanted to talk about. He reiterated that he would “smash” White’s boys, presumably McGregor, who was holding up the division at the time after he switched to boxing Floyd Mayweather without giving up his light belt.

Khabib Nurmagomedov dominated Edson Barboza en route to a World Championship opportunity


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