UFC® have announced that former UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov will be inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame’s ‘Modern Wing’ as a member of the class of 2022. The 2022 UFC Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, presented by Toyo Tires®, will take place during the 10th Annual UFC International Fight WeekÔ this summer in Las Vegas and will be streamed live on UFC FIGHT PASS®.
“Khabib is one of the greatest athletes to ever compete in professional sports,” UFC President Dana White said. “No one dominated their opponents that way Khabib did, and to retire undefeated, as lightweight champion and the #1 pound-for-pound athlete in the world is an incredible accomplishment. It will be an honor to induct him into the UFC Hall of Fame this summer.”
Nurmagomedov will enter the UFC Hall of Fame as a member of the Modern Wing, joining Forrest Griffin (2013), BJ Penn (2015), Urijah Faber (2017), Ronda Rousey (2018), Michael Bisping (2019), Rashad Evans (2019) and Georges St-Pierre (2020) in this distinguished category. The “Modern Era” category includes athletes who turned pro on or after November 17, 2000 (when the first UFC event under the unified rules of MMA was held), are a minimum age of 35 or who have been retired for one year or more.
A veteran of 29 fights during his 12-year career, Nurmagomedov compiled a perfect record of 29-0 (13-0, UFC), securing notable victories over former UFC lightweight champion Rafael Dos Anjos, former UFC featherweight and lightweight champion Conor McGregor, former interim UFC lightweight champion Dustin Poirier and former interim UFC lightweight champion Justin Gaethje.
Nurmagomedov made his UFC debut at UFC® on FX: GUILLARD vs. MILLER on January 20, 2012, in Nashville, Tennessee, submitting Kamal Shalorus via rear-naked choke. Khabib would defeat his next eight opponents, winning all 24 rounds in his first nine bouts before earning his shot at the vacant UFC lightweight title against Al Iaquinta at UFC 223.
UFC® 223: KHABIB vs. IAQUINTA took place on April 7, 2018, at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. Nurmagomedov was originally scheduled to face former interim UFC lightweight champion Tony Ferguson, but Ferguson was pulled due to a knee injury on April 1. Ferguson was replaced by former UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway, but Holloway was pulled on April 6 due to medical reasons. Iaquinta was installed as Holloway’s replacement less than 24 hours from the event, with Khabib winning all five rounds to become UFC lightweight champion.
Khabib would return to the Octagon® five months later to face former UFC featherweight and lightweight champion Conor McGregor in the main event of UFC® 229: KHABIB vs. MCGREGOR. A sellout crowd of 20,034 watched Nurmagomedov defeat McGregor via fourth round submission. The highly anticipated matchup between Khabib and Conor would set the Nevada state records highest attendance and live gate ($17.2 million) of an MMA event in history.
After a year off following UFC 229, Nurmagomedov returned to the Octagon on September 7, 2019, to face interim UFC lightweight champion Dustin Poirier in the main event unification bout of UFC® 242: KHABIB vs. POIRIER. Taking place at The Arena, Yas Island, in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, this event marked UFC’s third trip to Abu Dhabi and first since 2014. Khabib would secure his second successful title defense by defeating Poirier via third round submission.
Nurmagomedov would return to Abu Dhabi on October 24, 2020, to face interim UFC lightweight champion Justin Gaethje in the main event unification fight of UFC® 254: KHABIB vs. GAETHJE. This event would mark Khabib’s first training camp since the death of his father and coach, Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov, earlier that year. He would control the first round and defeat Justin via submission in the second round, re-unifying the lightweight title. He retired inside the Octagon during his post-fight interview.
During his Hall of Fame career, Khabib split his training between his home gym in Dagestan and the Javier Mendez-led American Kickboxing Academy (AKA) in San Jose, Calif. He is one of several former UFC champions to train at AKA under Mendez.
Nurmagomedov enters the UFC Hall of Fame with an impressive resume that includes:
4 title fight wins – Tied for most in UFC lightweight division history
12 lightweight division wins – Tied for longest winning streak in UFC lightweight division history
13 consecutive wins – Tied for 3rd longest winning streak in UFC history (2012-20)
21 takedowns – Most takedowns in a single UFC bout (vs. Abel Trujillo – UFC 160)
59 takedowns – Second-most in UFC lightweight division history
54.6% – Third highest control time percentage in lightweight UFC history
1:29:08 – Third-most control time in lightweight UFC history
1:04:28 – Third-most top position time in lightweight UFC history
88 significant ground strikes – Fourth-most landed in a single UFC bout (vs. Michael Johnson – UFC 205)
Outside the Octagon, Khabib was honored with numerous awards during his career, such as being acknowledged by ESPN with the ESPY Award for Best MMA Fighter (2021), UFC Honors Submission of the Year (2020), BBC Sports World Sport Star of the Year (2020), and World MMA Awards International Fighter of the Year (2016). He was also named Best Sportsman in Russia by the Russian Public Opinion Research Center in 2020.
In 2019, he and father, Abdulmanap, were recognized with the “For Merit to the Republic of Dagestan”. Presented by Vladimir Vasilyev, then-Head of the Republic of Dagestan, this award serves as the highest meritorious order awarded by the Dagestani government for exemplary service and significant contributions to sports in Dagestan.
In 2019, Nurmagomedov added author to his list of accomplishments when his autobiography entitled, “KhabibTime” was published LitRes. Written with Zaur Kurbanov, “KhabibTime” documents Khabib’s childhood in Dagestan and his rise to become a UFC champion.
Since retiring from MMA competition, Khabib has served as a coach for several UFC athletes, including Islam Makhachev, Umar Nurmagomedov, Abubakar Nurmagomedov and Zubaira Tukhugov. Nurmagomedov has also become an MMA promoter since retiring, serving as owner of Eagle Fighting Championship.
A native of Sildi, Dagestan, Russia, Nurmagomedov began wrestling as a child under the guidance of his father, Abdulmanap. Khabib trained in wrestling, judo and sambo, becoming a two-time (2009-10) Combat Sambo World Champion and European Pankration Champion before competing in mixed martial arts.