It’s no secret that Khabib Nurmagomedov is proud of his Dagestani roots, but the undefeated UFC lightweight champion also represents the Russian people as a whole.
That’s why, in a recent interview with URA.ru, ‘The Eagle’ snapped at a reporter for questioning his true heritage.
Does Khabib represent the Republic of Dagestan more than he does the entire country of Russia?
This was the champ’s answer (translation via RT Sport).
“I always do (represent Russia),” Khabib said. “There is always a Russian flag on the screen. Everyone in the States, who doesn’t know what Dagestan, Chechnya or Caucasus is, calls me Russian.”
“And all the foreign fighters, in case you didn’t notice, are calling me Russian,” he added. “So for them, we are one nation, for them we are the same people. It’s important for our own people not to divide (us). For people like you are. And not to ask me such stupid questions.”
“Abroad, no one is dividing us,” he concluded. “Inside (of the country) there are people who divide us and want us to be disjointed. So please change the subject and let’s talk sports, not politics.”
Nurmagomedov last fought at the blockbuster UFC 229 pay-per-view in October, when he dominated — and eventually submitted — Conor McGregor with a neck crank in the fourth round to retain his lightweight title. Khabib’s win was somewhat overshadowed by his wild post-fight antics, however, as the 30-year-old triggered an all-out brawl inside the cage after leaping over the Octagon fence and attacking SBG Ireland’s Dillon Danis.
The Nevada Athletic Commission (NAC) is currently withholding half of Nurmagomedov’s $2 million purse until the Russian attends his disciplinary hearing next year. McGregor, who traded punches with Khabib’s teammates, must also attend a disciplinary. Both men are expected to face fines and a possible suspension.