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Khabib Nurmagomedov’s Top 5 Beatdowns

Don Aguero

by Don Aguero in Mixed Martial Arts News

Updated Mar 31, 2020 · 11:28 PM PDT

Lightweight champ Khabib Nurmagomedov, famous for his gruesome beatdowns
Lightweight champ Khabib Nurmagomedov is famous for his gruesome beatdowns. Photo by Sport Network (Youtube) [CC License]
  • UFC lightweight champ Khabib Nurmagomedov will defend his strap against Conor McGregor on October 6th
  • Nurmagomedov is famous for his aggressive fighting style and vicious ground and pounds
  • Here are five of his greatest beatdowns

No one wins fights like Khabib Nurmagomedov. While some fighters knockout or submit their opponents in devastating fashion, Khabib slowly grinds them into a pulp with an unrelenting ground and pound. It’s all part of the lightweight champ’s mystique. He’s undefeated after 26 professional fights, including 10 in the UFC, and he’s never even come close to losing.

The way he’s able to break down his opponents and dominate them on the ground is unlike anything we’ve ever seen in mixed martial arts. Here are his five greatest beatdowns.

5. 1997: Russian Bear Cub

YouTube video

Before Khabib began his 26-fight winning streak in mixed martial arts, he was wrestling bear cubs in Dagestan. There’s a video of a nine-year-old Nurmagomedov holding his own against a bear, shooting takedowns and keeping his composure as the bear takes his back.

You have to see it to believe it. It’s hardly a beatdown (thank god), but you’ll never see a human fare better against a bear in a grappling match. It probably explains a lot about Khabib. Once you’ve wrestled a bear in the dirt, facing another human in the octagon is a piece of cake.

4. UFC 165: Pat Healy

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Khabib was four fights into his UFC career when he faced Pat Healy, and the up-and-comer was desperate to prove himself. Kicking off the main card for UFC 165: Jones vs. Gustafsson, Nurmagomedov managed to catch the eye of Dana White with a ferocious slam.

He scooped Healy off his feet, ran a half marathon with him slung over his shoulder, and then slammed him through the mat.

He scooped Healy off his feet, ran a half marathon with him slung over his shoulder, and then slammed him through the mat. It was reminiscent of Matt Hughes’ famous slam against Frank Trigg back in 2005.

3. UFC 160: Abel Trujillo

21 takedowns in three rounds. It’s the most takedowns ever recorded in a UFC fight. Khabib would pick Trujillo up and toss him to the ground, allow him to get back onto his feet, and then do the same thing all over again. By the end of the fight, Trujillo had accepted his fate. He put up very little resistance and allowed Khabib to play with him like a ragdoll.

Khabib only landed 23 strikes throughout the entire three rounds and allowed the fight to go the distance, but Trujillo never stood a chance.

2. UFC 219: Edson Barboza

This fight was so one-sided that a judge scored the three-round fight 30-24. That is, they scored every round 10-8 in favor of Khabib. That’s almost unheard of. For three straight rounds, Khabib mauled a helpless Barboza.

For three straight rounds, Khabib mauled a helpless Barboza.

Barboza was able to hang on to the final bell, which is an accomplishment in itself, but he was done long before that. Khabib was able to take Barboza to the mat at will and just unload on him. It was scary to see an elite lightweight appear completely lost in the octagon. If you didn’t already believe Khabib to be the best 155er in the UFC before this fight, you probably did afterwards.

1.  UFC 205: Michael Johnson

This was the fight that put Khabib on the map. Sherdog awarded him their “Beatdown of the Year” for his performance and Khabib vs Conor became the lightweight fight to make after that night.

Johnson found some success early on in the fight, but after Khabib took control it was all over. He completed only two takedowns, because once he got Johnson onto the mat, they would remain grounded until the bell. All Johnson could do was cover up as Khabib established top control and unleashed an endless flurry of unanswered strikes. It was painful to watch even for the most bloodthirsty of UFC fans.

Should we expect vicious beatdown at UFC 229 on October 6th? Here are the latest odds available:

UFC 229 Main Event Odds

Who Will Win the UFC  229 Main Event? Odds
Khabib Nurmagomedov -155
Conor Mcgregor +125
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