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Usman Nurmagomedov wants to follow in cousin Khabib’s footsteps

Usman Nurmagomedov says he wants to follow example of his cousin Khabib ahead of Bellator’s first game on Friday.

Rossi won all 11 professional MMA matches, facing Mike Hamel in the light event at the Belto 255, which will broadcast live on the BBC’s I Player channel.

Khabib considered one of the greatest MMA wrestlers of all time after retiring from the sport last year with a perfect record of 29-0.

Usman told BBC Sport: “Fighting on behalf of Nurmagomedov is very motivating for me.

“I want to follow in Khabib’s footsteps, follow in his footsteps and eventually become a better version of him.

Usman made an impressive start to his career when he signed with American MMA promoter Roberto Bellator in October.

The 22-year-old has completed 10 of 11 professional matches, seven of which ended in the first round with submission or knockout.

He regularly trains with former UFC lightweight champion Khabib and says the experience is good preparation for his physical and mental battles.

Usman said, “I went through the whole training camp with Khabib.

“It’s hard to compete and train with him,” he says. So it is easy to train and fight with others after training camp.

“I learned everything from Khabib. Whenever I want to know or learn anything, Khabib is there.

15 Matches a day

Khabib said a key reason for his decision to retire was in memory of his father and mentor, Abdumanap Nurmagomedov, who died in July from complications from the Kvyat-19.

Usman also trained by Abdulmanap, who paid tribute to his uncle.

Usman said he taught me everything, not only as a soldier, but also as a person.

“He taught me to talk to people, to treat people, to teach me everything.

I miss him so much.

Usman began fighting at the age of eight and introduced to MMA at the age of 11.

Usman recalled that when he was 18, AbdelManap led him to a battle for the Sambo championship, ending 15 major races in one day.

Sambo fighting is a popular form of martial arts in Russia.

Usman said, “I thought I was fighting in a 62kg unit.

“Then Abdulmanap came up to me and told me that he would fight in three different weight divisions that day. I said, “Okay, it is okay.

“I’ve always won, so I play another game every 15 minutes and then I play another one.”

Usman said that if Abdelmanap were here today, he would help him study his opponent on Friday.

“He’ll be with me now and the first thing he’s going to do is watch his opponent fight and decide how to keep playing.””

“One thing you definitely tell me to stay calm and not get emotional after winning.

In addition to Khabib, Usman has relatives of professional MMA fighters, including Omar Nurmagomedov and Abubakar Nurmagomedov.

Usman said it a competitive momentum that attracted his family and other Dagestani wrestlers to MMA.

“Of course we had a choice – I had cousins of doctors and dentists – but I chose to be a fighter because I loved the game,” Usman says.

“The feeling of hunger and competition in our blood is passed down from generation to generation.

Bellator 255 is the first event to broadcast exclusively from MMA in the UK during 2021 as part of the BBC broadcast deal.

Usman 2-0 in Friday is game against Hamel of the United States in the big leagues.

The main event was the clash between Patricio Ferrer’s and Emmanuel Sanchez for the Bellator title.

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