UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov has accomplished another dream of his, and it revolves around helping fellow citizens of Dagestan realize theirs.
Along with father Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov, Khabib has opened an MMA training facility in Makhachkala, which is located in Khabib’s hometown of Dagestan, Russia. In an interview with RT Sport, Khabib opened up about this new undertaking and personal significance it carries (Transcript via Bloody Elbow):
“I was very excited about this. Today, we opened this gym,” Khabib told RT Sport. “This is like dreams come true, and here you can train Muay Thai, jiu-jitsu, grappling, combat sambo, MMA, everything what you want. Like you guys see, a lot of kids here, and I think it’s going to be full all day.”
In addition to Nurmagomedov, the UFC currently is home to Dagestan fighters such as Zabit Magomedsharipov, Islam Makhachev, and Muslim Salikhov, all of which have been finding success with winning percentages each highly over the .500 mark. If Khabib has it his way, the gym will be a factory for many more names for many years to come.
“This gym is going to be full, a lot of kids going to be training here,” Khabib said. “You know, this is why I opened this gym. I want a lot of young generation guys training here and become professional fighters.”
Khabib’s father Abdulmanap also sees the gym as having a reach beyond the Nurmagomedov’s family home of Dagestan.
“I’d like this gym to set the standard for all other big cities in Russia,” said Abdulmanap.
Khabib Nurmagomedov will make his next Octagon appearance on April 18 against Tony Ferguson in Brooklyn, New York.