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Nurmagomedov becomes first Russian champion in UFC history

April 08, 10:04 UTC+3

The 29-year-old Russian clinched the 26th victory in his career with no defeats

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© AP Photo/Frank Franklin II

NEW YORK, April 8. /TASS/. Russian mixed martial arts fighter Khabib Nurmagomedov has defeated his US opponent Al Iaquinta in a five-round fight for the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) lightweight belt in New York.

Nurmagomedov became the first Russian to be awarded the UFC champion title. The 29-year-old Russian clinched the 26th victory in his career with no defeats. Al Iaquinta suffered his fourth defeat with 13 victories and one draw.

Nurmagomedov made his UFC debut on January 20, 2012, defeating Iran’s Kamal Shalorus by submission (rear naked choke).

The encounter with Al Iaquinta was the tenth in the UFC for the Dagestani-born mixed martial artist, who won all ten fights. The previous UFC lightweight champion was Ireland’s Conor ‘The Notorious’ McGregor. Last time McGregor fought in the UFC was in November 2016, when he defeated Eddie Alvarez to become the UFC lightweight champion. McGregor has a record of 16 knockouts, one submission win and 12 first-round finishes in the UFC.

Shortly after the encounter, Nurmagomedov announced plans to fight with Canada’s Georges St-Pierre, who is one of the best UFC fighters in the middleweight class.

"I thank everyone and my team, this is the world’s best team," said Nurmagomedov. "This is our common victory, this is my family, they support and teach me, and a special thanks for Iaquinta, but now I want to fight in November with St-Pierre in New York. Whatsoever, I’m ready to fight just now with anyone, let me drink some water and I’m prepared to go to octagon either with Tony Ferguson or Conor McGregor."

Nurmagomedov gave no details if he planned to change his weight class for the fight with the Canadian.

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