Fresh off another title defence at UFC 242, Khabib Nurmagomedov met with Vladimir Putin upon his return to the Russian Federation last week.
The UFC champion and his father, Abdulmanap, sat with Putin and Vladimir Vasilyev, the head of the Republic of Dagestan, at an undisclosed location. The Russian president congratulated Nurmagomedov on his submission victory against Dustin Poirier, calling it a “decent fight against a strong and tenacious rival.” (h/t RTSports)
“You had a convincing victory. I watched the fight, you submitted him with a rear-naked choke, it was a classic choke hold. You did it in the correct way, without squeezing his throat, but holding him on both sides of the neck, as it should be. It was all fair,”
“Yes, the opponent was strong and respectable. This time around I fought against a person who respected me,” replied Nurmagomedov in a reference to his tense rivalry with Conor McGregor in 2018.
Following his meeting with Putin, Nurmagomedov took a private jet back to Dagestan. Upon arriving at the Makhachkala airport, the champion was given a hero’s welcome. Hundreds of local fans gathered to show their support for Nurmagomedov, while a troop of musicians performed musical numbers and the traditional lezghinka dance.