Khabib Nurmagomedov is most known for bringing the high-level wrestling prowess of the Dagestani’s to the UFC’s lightweight division. His grit and grappling game quickly garnered him six wins, most recently defeating Rafael Dos Anjos. It’s been a little over a year since we’ve seen Khabib step into the Octagon, as he was forced to pull out of his May 23rd bout with Donald Cerrone due to injury, but he’s still making headlines in Russia.
He’s also known for an incredible video of him as a child, full-on wrestling a bear. The video speaks to his hard-nosed reputation, and frankly, is downright cute relative to the brutal history of humans boxing these great animals. No other details were known besides the fact that it happened, until now.
Recently, Khabib’s father, Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov, gave an interview to Russian media outlet ToFight.ru where he spoke about being his son’s coach. Abdulmanap is a black belt in Judo and master of Sambo and Freestyle wrestling, and in the interview, it’s clear that his guidance played a major role in the development of MMA champions in the region. He also explained the circumstances behind the famous bear-wrestling video.
“In the west, Khabib’s has an entrenched image of a guy who fought as a child with the bears. For the people from the United States—this is madness. Tell me, was it for fun or part of his training?” the interviewer asked.
“First—a father always wants to check on what his son his capable of. It is a pity that there were no fights more interesting when he was younger. In the end, this was a test of character more than exercise,” he answered.I know what you are thinking, but where could I even have got a bear when Ben was nine?