Khabib Nurmagomedov continues to be a star in his home country of Russia.
“The Eagle” successfully defended his lightweight title against Dustin Poirier at UFC 242 this past weekend in Abu Dhabi. Despite some adversity, Nurmagomedov was able to get the win with a third-round submission.
According to reports, 26 million viewers watched the fight in Russia. So it’s fair to say that Nurmagomedov is a star in Russia and that was further solidified with him meeting Russian president Vladimir Putin.
The video was posted by UFC president Dana White who adds that the head of Dagestan Vladimir Vasiliev was also there to meet with Nurmagomedov and his father. You can watch the video below:
“I want to congratulate you. It was a decent fight against a strong and tenacious rival,” Putin told Nurmagomedov (via RT translation).
“Yes, the opponent was strong and respectable. This time around I fought against a person who respected me,” Nurmagomedov replied while referencing Conor McGregor.
“Well it depends on the person,” Putin responded. “But of course a professional athlete should be like this. 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.”
Putin notably met with Nurmagomedov following the latter’s win over McGregor last year as well.
What do you think of Nurmagomedov and his popularity?