Umar Nurmagomedov seals impressive submission debut win at UFC Fight Night

Bantamweight secures second-round victory over Sergey Morozov at Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi with cousin Khabib in attendance

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Umar Nurmagomedov has promised to display even more of his skillset next time out in the UFC, after he kept the family name flying proudly in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday to seal a stunning debut victory.

The bantamweight, the cousin of lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, was incredibly impressive early on at UFC Fight Night: Chiesa vs Magny, seeing off Sergey Morozov by second-round submission.

Falling exactly nine years after Khabib secured a win on UFC debut with the same submission, it lifted Umar's professional record to 13-0.

Khabib, whose return from retirement continues to be the subject of much conjecture, cornered his cousin at Etihad Arena. The Dagestan native, himself undefeated, then translated for Umar inside the octagon post-fight and again at the press conference afterwards.

“I’m very happy I can finish this guy and can show the world that I can kick, I can punch, I can wrestle, no problem,” the younger Nurmagomedov said. “But at same time I am a little bit sad because it was not my best performance.

“In future, I’m going to show you guys why this fight wasn’t the best performance. In the beginning I was a little bit tired, I don’t understand why.”

Nurmagomedov had been made to wait for his UFC bow after having his debut postponed twice last year for a variety of reasons. However, the 24-year-old is expected to take the division by storm, especially considering his family stock.

Asked what he can achieve in the sport, Nurmagomedov said: “Of course I believe that I can become champion. I just need to focus and step-by-step show the world my best performance. I’m really excited about the future because I have to achieve a lot.”

Nurmagomedov has previously said he considered Abu Dhabi a second home, since the family shares a strong affinity with the emirate that dates back beyond Khabib’s two most recent victories there.

“This meant a lot for me and my family,” he said, before Khabib Nurmagomedov, sitting now far away with the microphone, interjected.

“I don’t think he understands what he’s feeling,” the 29-0 fighter said. “I think after a couple of days he’s going to realise what’s happened. That’s my opinion.”

It was put to Umar if his cousin should return for one more fight. Khabib retired immediately following his victory against Justin Gaethje at UFC 254 in October, but the UFC has teased a comeback. He still holds the lightweight belt.

“I hope,” Umar said, as Khabib jokingly mimicked his response.