The world’s top Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) champion Khabib Nurmagomedov has unified the UFC lightweight title.
He did it with a third-round submission win over interim champion Dustin Poirier in Abu Dhabi on Saturday, Hindustan Times reported.
“The last two years were very busy for me, I want to relax a little bit, I have a bit too much pressure on my shoulders,” he said.
“Give me a little bit of time, a couple of days.”
Nurmagomedov was overwhelmingly the crowd favorite, with fans roaring into chants of “Khabib”.
He dominated the fight and was rattled just once when Poirier clipped him with a right hand in the second, forcing him to scramble before recovering and soon taking the American back to the mat.
The titles were unified with UFC having two lightweight champions. Poirier became an interim champion in April due to holder Nurmagomedov being suspended.
The victory marked Nurmagomedov’s return to the octagon since serving the suspension for his involvement in an October arena brawl following a fight with Conor McGregor.
“MMA is not about trash talking. This is what we show with Dustin Poirier and his great team,” he said.
The 30-year-old Nurmagomedov, a married father of a daughter and a son, is a Muslim Avar from the Islamic Republic of Dagestan located in the North Caucasus where more than 83% of the country’s population are adherents to Islam, according to ARENA Project’s 2012 survey.
The world’s Muslim champion who’s able to speak several languages including Avaric, Arabic, Turkish, Russian, and English, was born in the remote village of Sildi in Tsumadinsky District. He usually wears a papakha, a traditional sheepskin hat worn by Dagestanis and other Caucasian peoples.
The Russian fighter nicknamed ‘The Eagle’ has seen his popularity soar after defeating Conor McGregor at UFC 229.
Khabib Abdulmanapovich Nurmagomedov, or ‘Habib Abdulmanap Nur Mohamed’ in Arabic, is not only the UFC’s first Muslim champion but currently and more importantly he also holds the longest undefeated streak in MMA, with 27 wins.