Since its founding in 1993, a diverse mix of men and women have laid claim to belts as the best of the best in the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Saturday night in the co-main event of UFC 209 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, 28-year-old Dagestani mixed martial artist Khabib Nurmagomedov seeks to become the first Muslim to join the list.
Boasting a 24-0 record built over the course of a nine-year career, ‘The Eagle’, as he likes to be called, brings a particularly hard and damaging grappling style into the Octagon that was hammered into him since he could walk the rugged terrain on which generations of North Caucasian men have been instructed to battle.
These are the people and places Nurmagomedov conjures as he prepares to fight.
“I feel I represent my country. Not only my country, but all former USSR countries, because I have very big fanbase here and I have more than a billion Muslim fans,” Nurmagomedov told the Guardian. “I feel I represent these guys all around the world. My fans. This gives me very good energy. When I go to the cage I think about these people.”
Source By theguardian