Khabib Nurmagomedov is famous for many things – major one being a saying: “If Sambo was easy, it would be called jiu-jitsu” .
His grappling background is world class. Like many children in Dagestan he began wrestling from an early age; at the age of six under the tutelage of his father Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov. A decorated athlete and a veteran of the Army, his father Abdulmanap had also wrestled from an early age before training in judo and sambo in the military. In 2001, his family moved to Machachkala. There, at the age of 12, he trained in wrestling, and from age 15 he began training in judo. After turning 17, he began training in combat sambo under his father. According to Khabib, the transition from wrestling to judo was difficult, but his father wanted him to get used to competing in a gi jacket. Abdulmanap is currently a senior coach for the combat sambo national team in the Republic of Dagestan, training several athletes in sambo and wrestling in Makhachkala, Russia. Khabib would frequently get into street fights in his youth, before focusing his attention to mixed martial arts.
Khabib Nurmagomedov holds a International Master of Sport in Sambo, a Black belt in Judo, a International Master of Sports in Pankration, a International Master of Sports in Army Hand-to-Hand Combat.
His Grappling competition achievements:
World Combat Sambo Federation:
2009 World Combat Sambo Championships (-74 kg) Gold Medalist
2010 World Cup in Combat Sambo (-82 kg) Silver Medalist
2010 World Combat Sambo Championships (-82 kg) Gold Medalist
Combat Sambo Federation of Russia
2009 Russian Combat Sambo Championships (-74 kg) Gold Medalist
All-Russian Sambo Federation
Russian Combat Sambo National Championships 21st (2010) (World Team Trials-FIAS)
NAGA World Championship
2012 Men’s No-Gi Expert Welterweight Champion
2012 ADCC Rules No-Gi Expert Welterweight Champion
João Gabriel Saldanha, an young orange belt under Leo Teixeira, was in New York and had the chance to train with undefeated UFC athlete Khabib Nurmagomedov.