WATCH: The Kick That Showed Fans McGregor Can’t Knock Out Khabib Nurmagomedov
UFC lightweight contender Khabib Nurmagomedov has the kind of chin that can only have been made in a laboratory. With an undefeated record of twenty-five victories in mixed martial arts, the Dagestani wrestling phenom shocked the world last week when he ate at a kick that would normally have sent other men to the shadow realm, if not the grave itself.
Nurmagomedov was matched up with standout lightweight kickboxer Edson Barboza at UFC 219 on New Year’s Eve, where he put on a show that earned him a performance of the night bonus from the UFC, as well as cementing his status as a top contender in one of the most highly stacked divisions the UFC has to offer.
“The Eagle” just didn’t stop coming all throughout the fight, taking his opponent to the ground seemingly at will in the later stages of the bout. Barboza was a formidable opponent for Nurmagomedov to be matched up against following a long layoff due to injuries. Barboza is well known for his spinning kick knockout of Terry Etim, which features on numerous highlight reels produced by the UFC.
However, for all Barboza’s barbaric striking, he was unable to stop the monstrous power of Nurmagomedov, who later said it had been his plan all along to take Barboza into the final round in order to show he could easily fight through to the last two rounds of a championship or main card event.
Barboza let loose with a brutal spinning hook kick in the third round that set mixed martial arts fans and pundits alike shaking their heads in disbelief. The kick landed with a resounding thud, and would no doubt have knocked out many other athletes, but Nurmagomedov just kept moving forward as though he’d been slapped in the face with a rather fluffy pillow.
He walked through this one. pic.twitter.com/2dcCLxhtkx
— (((Sukhdeep Butty))) (@Sukhdeep_Butty) January 2, 2018
With McGregor’s eventual return to the UFC’s Octagon still up in the air, it seems that Nurmagomedov could eventually be matched up with interim lightweight champion Tony Ferguson, who won the title after a fantastic submission over Kevin Lee in late 2017.
Whoever faces Nurmagomedov next is certain to have their hands full, if the way he ate this kick is anything to go off of. Check out the full video of the Hail Mary knockout attempt below and let us know what you think!