Khabib Nurmagomedov is often cited as one of the best grapplers on the planet and has proved it time and time again at the highest levels of MMA, but he’s also competed in pure grappling and emerged as the 2012 NAGA World Champion. It’s been a relatively long time since Nurmagomedov decided to retire from MMA at the very top of the world, after he had defended his UFC Lightweight World Championship against Justin Gaethje and extended his professional MMA record to 29-0.
Since then, Nurmagomedov has stayed firmly out of combat sports action even though he did sign a contract to play football for a Russian team. Despite that it’s hard to imagine that Nurmagomedov has relaxed all that much considering he’s still a part of the coaching staff at American Kickboxing Academy and still trains almost as much as he did when he was fighting. In the past he’s been seen grappling with wrestlers who outweigh him by dozens of pounds and still putting on dominant displays, shutting them down and winning virtually every exchange.
That’s probably part of the reason that a huge number of top grapplers have decided to call out Nurmagomedov for matches without strikes, because he’s still so active that he could feasibly jump right back in without missing a beat. Perhaps the most popular name thrown around so far has been Garry Tonon, the ADCC veteran and undefeated ONE FC competitor who believes that he’d submit Nurmagomedov if given the opportunity to meet him on the mats. Nurmagomedov’s manager Ali Abdelaziz has even gotten in on the action and tried to give fans the only thing that they missed from Nurmagomedov’s entire career by offering a grappling match with him to Tony Ferguson.
If his UFC career wasn’t enough to convince you that Khabib Nurmagomedov would be able to hold his own under a more traditional Jiu-Jitsu or submission wrestling ruleset, then this footage of him becoming the World Champion of the expert division at the 2012 NAGA World Championships should definitely do it.
The footage of Khabib Nurmagomedov becoming the 2012 NAGA World Champion was uploaded to the official YouTube channel of Jiu Jitsu World:
Or for more of our articles looking into moments throughout BJJ history, visit our throwback archives.