Rare footage of UFC legend Khabib Nurmagomedov’s spectacular flying armbar in his teenage years


Despite retiring in October 2020, former lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov remains one of the most popular figures in the UFC. ‘The Eagle’ is still amongst the most high-profile MMA fighters on Instagram, with a massive 34.8m followers on the social media platform.

Part of Khabib Nurmagomedov’s legend stems from the fact that he was able to hang up his gloves without ever suffering a defeat. He gave up the UFC lightweight title and ended his career with a stunning record of 29-0.

While Khabib’s exploits in the UFC are well-known, his career prior to joining the promotion, particularly before he turned professional in 2009, is still somewhat clouded in mystery.

A few years ago, for instance, footage that reportedly showed a young Khabib wrestling a bear immediately went viral across the internet.

Post-Soviet visuals. 1997. Khabib Nurmagomedov wrestling a bear in Dagestan. https://t.co/hVHdMdGGTn

Now, another video of a teenage Khabib seems likely to spread across social media like wildfire. Instagram user @lefthookclub has posted footage of ‘The Eagle’ in what looks to be an amateur bout of some kind against an unknown opponent.

Remarkably, the bout ends with the future UFC Hall of Famer submitting his foe with a perfectly-timed flying armbar.

@lefthookclub posted the clip with a humorous shot at current UFC star Raul Rosas Jr, who lost to Christian Rodriguez earlier this month.

“Who you taking, 18-year-old Khabib or Raul Rosas Jr?”

Interestingly enough, while Khabib Nurmagomedov finished 11 opponents via submission during his MMA career, including five in the UFC, the armbar was not a hold he used to force a tapout.

Is Khabib Nurmagomedov ever going to fight again?

Khabib Nurmagomedov famously announced his retirement in October 2020, after submitting Justin Gaethje to retain his UFC lightweight title for the third time.

Many fans were stunned at Khabib’s decision to hang up his gloves, as he appeared to be at the peak of his powers at the time. However, ‘The Eagle’ had previously made a promise to his mother to walk away from the sport, and clearly wanted to stick to that promise.

Since then, a number of attempts have been made to pull Khabib out of retirement, including fighters such as Charles Oliveira and Conor McGregor.

However, despite his own attempts to entice ‘The Eagle’ back into action, UFC President Dana White stated on his Twitter account in March 2021 that Khabib would not be returning.

29-0 it is. He is 💯 officially retired. It was incredible to watch you work @TeamKhabib thank you for EVERYTHING and enjoy whatever is next my friend. https://t.co/QeoSP12zw2

‘The Eagle’ has since been inducted into the UFC’s Hall of Fame, and has also been seen coaching a number of other UFC fighters such as current lightweight champ Islam Makhachev and his cousin Umar Nurmagomedov.

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