How is Umar Nurmagomedov related to Khabib?

  • Umar Nurmagomedov will be fighting at UFC Vegas 87
  • He is related to the former UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov
  • Here's what you need to know about Umar before Saturday

Umar and Khabib Nurmagomedov
Umar and Khabib Nurmagomedov / UFC

Umar Nurmagomedov has become a highly touted contender in the UFC bantamweight division. Many believe that the 28-year-old has the potential to become the UFC champion. The distinction comes to him naturally as Nurmagomedov belongs to one of the most prominent martial arts families from Dagestan, Russia.

Umar is the elder brother of Bellator lightweight champion Usman Nurmagomedov and cousin of former UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov. He has trained under Khabib’s late father Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov, who is regarded as one of the best coaches in Russia.

Like his cousin Khabib, Umar possesses a dominant ground game and a respectable striking arsenal. He has displayed similar dominance in the competitive sphere and boasts an unblemished 16-0 professional MMA record. At the time of this article's publishing, Umar is the No. 13 ranked UFC bantamweight contender.

Khabib has had a significant impact on Umar’s fighting career as well. After retiring from MMA in October 2020, he transitioned to coaching and cornered Islam Makhachev, Umar, Usman, and other teammates when they fought.

Umar, Usman and Khabib Nurmagomedov are all related to each other

When Khabib decided to step away from MMA in early 2023, many suspected that his absence might impact his teammates’ performances. Heading into his UFC Vegas 67 fight against Raoni Bareclos, Umar said that he shared a close personal relationship with Khabib. He could seek his guidance even if Khabib was not actively involved in fight camps.

Following a first-round knockout win over Barcelos, Umar admitted to having felt the performance pressure without Khabib in his corner.

Umar has been on the sidelines since defeating Raoni Barcelos. He was scheduled to fight No. 3 ranked bantamweight Cory Sandhagen in August 2023. A potential win over Sandhagen would have catapulted Umar into the higher echelons of the division.

However, a shoulder injury forced him to pull out of the fight, temporarily stopping his march towards the UFC title shot. After recovering fully, Nurmagomedov awaited the UFC to offer him an opponent. However, media reports stated that many top contenders had declined to fight him. The reports were backed by A similar claim by UFC CEO Dana White in May 2023 backed the reports.

Umar will fight UFC newcomer and Kazakhstan native Bekzat Almakhan on March 2 at UFC Vegas 87. A heavyweight showdown between Jairzinho Rosenstruik and Shamil Gaziev will headline the event.

Nurmagomedov is the biggest betting favorite at the event and fans expect him to secure a dominant victory over the relatively unknown Almakhan. However, an unknown opponent does not mean an easy fight. Nurmagomedov’s team learned that when Arman Tsarukyan gave Islam Makhachev one of the toughest fights of his career in a short-notice UFC debut.