UFC great Khabib Nurmagomedov to headline 2022 Hall of Fame class

Former lightweight champion, who retired in Abu Dhabi in late 2020, was undefeated in pro 29 MMA bouts

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Khabib Nurmagomedov will be inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame this summer, it was announced early on Sunday on the sidelines of UFC 272 in Las Vegas.

The former lightweight champion, who retired undefeated following UFC 254 in Abu Dhabi in October 2020, will be formally inducted into the Hall’s “Modern Wing” on July 2 as part of International Fight Week.

Nurmagomedov, who concluded his career at 29-0 in professional mixed martial arts, joins in that category Georges St-Pierre, Rashad Evans, Michael Bisping, Ronda Rousey, Urijah Faber, BJ Penn and Forrest Griffin.

“Khabib is one of the greatest athletes to ever compete in professional sports,” UFC president Dana White told the UFC’s official website. “No one dominated their opponents the way Khabib did, and to retire undefeated, as lightweight champion and the No 1 pound-for-pound athlete in the world is an incredible accomplishment. It will be an honour to induct him into the UFC Hall of Fame this summer.”

Nurmagomedov, 33, made his UFC debut in January 2012 and went on to become arguably the most dominant fighter in the promotion’s history. When he called time on his career, after his hugely emotionally victory against Justin Gaethje in the UAE capital, his UFC record read 13-0. He topped the pound-for-pound rankings.

Nurmagomedov triumphed in four UFC title bouts – he became lightweight champion in April 2018 by defeating Al Iaquinta for the vacant belt - with his win against Conor McGregor at UFC 229 in late 2018 the richest fight in the company’s history.

Nurmagomedov’s 12 lightweight wins without defeat are tied for the longest winning streak in lightweight history, while his overall 13-bout UFC winning streak is the third-longest in the promotion’s history. At UFC 160, Nurmagomedov registered 21 takedowns in his win over Abel Trujillo to set a UFC record.

Since retiring, the Dagestan native serves as coach to several UFC athletes, including No 4-ranked lightweight contender Islam Makhachev, Umar Nurmagomedov, Abubakar Nurmagomedov and Zubaira Tukhugov. Last year, Khabib Nurmagomedov became an MMA promoter, launching Eagle Fighting Championship.

Updated: March 06, 2022, 5:52 AM