Although the Russian is yet to really become a superstar in the States, he is a cult hero in his homeland. Following his victory at UFC 223 over Al Iaquinta, he became the inaugural Dagastani champion. Speaking after the fight, Khabib has stated he doesn’t want the fame or the belt to change him.
“With the belt comes a lot of attention, a lot of money – crazy stuff, a lot of crazy stuff,” Nurmagomedov said after UFC 223. “I don’t want this belt to change me. I want to stay focused. Next month is Ramadan coming. After Ramadan, I want to begin training, come back this year and defend this title.”
“I’m a little bit worried about this belt. Sometimes you think, ‘You’re UFC champion and a lot of stuff.’ But I’m a little bit scared about this. I don’t want to change. I want to be same the Khabib, like, before the belt and after the belt. This is not about me. This is about all people around me.”
Whilst others have taken the celebrity status in their stride – this isn’t the Russian’s style. He’s said before that he actually isn’t keen on the spotlight, saying he’d rather a private life with this wife and children.
However, Khabib is now one of the faces of the company. With him now being a UFC champion, his status will now increase. When asked about how he would handle this extra attention, the Russian was unsure.
“That’s a good question. I don’t know; we’re going to see,” Nurmagomedov said. “We’ll see.”
Catch all of Khabib’s comments below: