Back in 2013, before his UFC match against Thiago Tavares in Brazil, Khabib Nurmagomedov came to the weigh-ins wearing a shirt with the words: “If Sambo was easy, it would be called Jiu-Jitsu”.
The T-shirt is well known to this day… But Marcus “Buchecha” Almeida doesn’t believe that Khabib truly meant it.
Rather, he wore the shirt for marketing purposes – as Buchecha explained in an interview for ONE:
I think Khabib said that as a form of promotion.
At the time he wore this shirt, he was going to face a Jiu-Jitsu black belt, Thiago Tavares. It’s been a long time, and he wore the shirt just to get attention.
And it worked. A lot of people talked about it.
It was a marketing ploy because Khabib trains that half-guard control a lot by playing on top, crushing the opponent’s legs. And that was the result of a lot of Jiu-Jitsu training.
Buchecha added that he also saw Nurmagomedov train BJJ under Leandro Vieira, at the American Kickboxing Academy (AKA):
I followed him training with Leandro Vieira, who was the AKA Jiu-Jitsu coach at the time. I saw him teaching Khabib a lot of Jiu-Jitsu.
So, I followed Khabib’s Jiu-Jitsu training very closely. Like I said, it was just a marketing ploy and it worked at the time.
But the truth is that Khabib trains a lot of Jiu-Jitsu and used Jiu-Jitsu a lot in his fights.
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