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“This Is a Fight”: Islam Makhachev Celebrates Victory Over Khabib Nurmagomedov in Soccer Amidst UFC 302 Prep

Kevin Binoy

“This Is a Fight”: Islam Makhachev Celebrates Victory Over Khabib Nurmagomedov in Soccer Amidst UFC 302 Prep

For Khabib Nurmagomedov and his team, training and mixed martial arts take precedence above everything else. However, there is one thing that is taken more seriously than martial arts at Eagle’s MMA, a game of soccer. And in a good omen prior to UFC 302, Islam Makhachev finally has a win over Khabib.

The ‘Countdown’ series released by the UFC gives an inside look into training camp and behind the scenes of their favorite fighters ahead of big fights. This time, the Countdown crew headed to Russia to film behind the scenes of the training camp at Eagle’s MMA. In the video, Makhachev explains the importance of soccer in their training camps and how it gets extremely competitive.

The lightweight champion explained that it is usually always his team against Khabib Nurmagomedov’s team. He also went on to reveal that his team has lost the last three times against ‘The Eagle’. Therefore, he offers money and other incentives to his teammates to secure a win against ‘The Eagle’.

The two men agreed that the loser in the game would pay the bill the next time the group went out for a meal together. Luckily for Makhachev, he emerged victorious and finally got bragging rights over his mentor, Khabib Nurmagomedov. After the win he said,

“Today is history. We beat Khabib’s team. For everybody it’s just a game. But for our team, this is a fight. Today we won.”

Unbeknownst to many, it was soccer and not mixed martial arts that ‘The Eagle’ dreamt about as a child.

Khabib Nurmagomedov reveals his love for the game of football

Growing up as a child, Nurmagomedov predominantly practiced two sports, soccer and sambo. ‘The Eagle’ stated in multiple interviews that his aim was to become a professional soccer player while growing up. However, he quickly realized that he was not as good at football as he was at sambo and therefore changed his mind.

However, that does not stop Nurmagomedov from following his first love now that he doesn’t fight anymore. ‘The Eagle’ is a die-hard Real Madrid fan and has been spotted at games all over Europe.

Nurmagomedov also frequently posts pictures of meeting some of the greatest soccer players. And while he has lost to Islam, the competitor that he is, ‘The Eagle’ will be plotting to get a win next time around. Until then, we have a title fight to prepare for.

About the author

Kevin Binoy

Kevin Binoy

With more than two years of devoted experience in the Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) industry, Kevin Binoy is an accomplished MMA journalist. His love of combat sports and his deep knowledge of the tactics and background of mixed martial arts (MMA) enable him to analyze fights and present his readers a distinct viewpoint. Throughout his writing career, Kevin has contributed to a number of reputable outlets.

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