Revealed: Khabib Nurmagomedov Applied for Ukrainian Citizenship Multiple Times

Alex Nurmagomedov, the uncle of Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) fighter Khabib Nurmagomedov, has revealed that Khabib could have competed for the country of Ukraine, instead of Russia.  He mentioned the possibility in his interview with the Ukrainian news outlet Sport-Express.

Khabib with uncle Alex Nurmagomedov

Alex Nurmagomedov has lived in Ukraine since 1983 and has Ukranian citizenship. Khabib has posted on Instagram photos of him with his uncle and his family in Poltava, Ukraine.

Alex Nurmagomedov

“We tried our best to get Ukrainian citizenship for Khabib. We value, love and respect Ukraine and its people. I say you can’t find a better nation. They say home is where you were born. In my book, home is where you feel good. We planned for Khabib to compete for Ukraine, but we could not do it. Khabib was offended because of the denial. He asked me why they wouldn’t give him a passport, why they would assess the situation that way. I told him I don’t know the reason and I could not do anything about it,” Alex said.

Khabib Nurmagomedov is a Russian citizen who was born in the Republic of Dagestan, which is part of Russia. He is of Avar ethnicity. Avars are mostly found in Dagestan, though there are also a few in other countries in the Caucasus, such as neighboring Georgia.

Abdulmanap in Ukraine

The Russian wrestler began his professional career in 2008, and his first pro fight was held in Poltava. Khabib was with the Antares sports club, and then the Combat-Dobro club in the Ukrainian capital Kiev, with his father Abdulmanap as his coach.

Abdulmanap himself performed military service for Ukraine. Trained by judo coach Peter Ivanovich Butriy, the elder Nurmagomedov was the Ukrainian champion in judo and sambo.

Another uncle of Khabib, who is younger and named Nurmagomedov Nurmagomedov (not a typo), has been living in Ukraine with Alex since the early 1980s. Nicknamed Nurik, this second uncle is also a sambo / judo champion who competed for the Ukrainian national team.

Khabib’s father and his two uncles (the three Nurmagomedov brothers) all finished their higher education in Poltava, Ukraine.

Khabib and cousins in Ukraine
Khabib and Abubakar Nurmagomedov in Ukraine

There are videos of Khabib before his entry to the UFC showing him competing while waving the Ukrainian national flag with his father Abdulmanap in his corner. 🇺🇦