17 years ago, a young Khabib Nurmagomedov befriended a bear cub that he would use as a wrestling partner in his hometown in Dagestan. Little did he know that a ‘secret video’ had been taken of him, one that would leak when Khabib began his undefeated streak under the UFC banner.
The video shocked a certain segment of the MMA community, but it also garnered a fair bit of admiration for the stone-cold Dagestani and his unorthodox training regimen. It even warranted a Judo Chop from Coach Mike, who was less than pleased that a child would be placed in this sort of situation.
Last year, Khabib confirmed that he was indeed the young boy in the video, yet the details escaped him. However, his father and coach, Abdulmanap, offered his thoughts on the bizarre training in a recent interview with Russian media.
Longform: Dagestan Dynasty
How fighting became the Nurmagomedov family business
“Firstly, a child always wants his father to see what his son is capable of,” Abdulmanap told ToFight.Ru. “It is a pity that there was nothing more interesting when he was younger. In the end, this was a test of character more than exercise.”
Abdulmanap, a hardened man who has overcome warfare, resettlement and other turmoil to establish one arguably the elite Dagestani roster of fighters, trains the likes of UFC’s Islam Makhachev, as well as Abubakar Nurmagomedov.
About the author