Former UFC champion Khabib Nurmagomedov signed by Russian football club

Lightweight champion agrees professional contract with third division Legion Dynamo ten months after retiring from fighting

Former UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, who retired from Mixed Martial Arts last year October, has been signed by third-tier Russian football club Legion Dynamo.

Nurmagomedov announced his retirement following his submission victory over American Justin Gaethje on October 24, his first fight following the death of his father Abdulmanap from complications caused by Covid-19.

Fulfilling a promise made to his mother, the 32-year-old left the cage after a stunning run of 13 wins in eight years and a professional record featuring eight knockouts and 11 submission wins.

Nurmagomedov's victory against the then-interim champion at Flash Forum, which arrived via second-round submission, lifted his pro record to 29-0. He has since become more active in coaching, including training several of his family members and former stablemates.

In January, Nurmagomedov revealed his ambition to switch to football, tweeting that he was preparing for his debut in the sport and "ready to accept offers".

Legion Dynamo, who play in the third-tier Russian Professional Football League and are third in the competition this season, announced the signing on Instagram with a photo of Nurmagomedov shaking the hand of a club official over a contract.

'A great battle awaits our Legion, for which we need great warriors,' the club said in a statement. 'We are preparing to receive the RPL team together with Khabib Nurmagomedov.'

The president of Legion Dynamo added: "I already see Khabib as a sharp striker. He can enter the amount into the contract himself.

"Khabib pleasantly surprised with his understanding of football and its development."

Updated: August 14th 2021, 9:47 AM