Khabib Nurmagomedov is widely regarded as one of the best grapplers in MMA history and despite his undefeated record he has been defeated sin competition before, by Russia’s first BJJ black belt Leonid Gatovskiy. He famously retired on top of the world at UFC 254 after submitting Justin Gaethje and reaching an incredible twenty-nine professional MMA fights without ever suffering loss, riding off into the sunset with a guaranteed spot in the UFC Hall of Fame. The Lightweight world champion has an impressive background in Sambo and he used his elite wrestling to make his opponents suffer on the ground before finishing them, or winning convincing decisions if he ran out of time.
Although Khabib Nurmagomedov is not a BJJ black belt himself, he has defeated several of them in MMA and each one fell victim to his superior grappling. This shouldn’t be much of a surprise seeing as he was winning against BJJ black belts in their own ruleset as far back as 2012, when he became the NAGA world champion in convincing fashion. Despite his eventual success in MMA, Nurmagomedov is not undefeated in BJJ competition as well. All the way back in 2009, Nurmagomedov faced off against Russia’s first BJJ black belt Leonid Gatovskiy and he not only managed to put the future UFC Lightweight world champion on his back at the beginning of the match but he also actually won the decision in the end too.
This should help demonstrate why so many professional BJJ black belts are confident that they can defeat Nurmagomedov in submission grappling, and why Georges St-Pierre is eager to take on the challenge of a grappling match with him. This is actually the last time that Nurmagomedov was defeated in competition and defeating him on a big stage after he’s become a household name in the MMA world would be a huge feather in anyone’s cap. It’s worth baring in mind that this was well over a decade ago now though and as the years have gone on Nurmagomedov has gotten even better, as can be seen by relatively recent footage of him manhandling Luke Rockhold in training.
The footage of Khabib Nurmagomedov being defeated in competition by Russia’s first BJJ black belt Leonid Gatovskiy was uploaded to the official YouTube channel of Jiu Jitsu World:
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