Mixed Martial Artist
Khabib ‘The Eagle’ Nurmagomedov is from the independent republic of Dagestan that was once part of the Soviet Union. His father was ex-military and set up a gym in their house where the athletes who would come to train inspired Nurmagomedov. He began wrestling at age 8 and even took on bears. He then added judo at 15 and Sambo at 17. Nurmagomedov is a 2-time Combat Sambo World Champ. He went pro at age 20 and won 4 times in his first month. Nurmagomedov has the longest active undefeated streak in MMA and as of May ’20 is the reigning UFC Lightweight Champ. He is also the first Muslim to win a UFC title. Nurmagomedov is at the top of Forbes Russia’s list of Most Successful athletes under age 40. He is married and has 3 children. Nurmagomedov has millions of followers on social media. He is 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighs 155 lbs.
Khabib Nurmagomedov’s Diet
Like all athletes who have to make weight, Nurmagomedov follows a careful diet consisting of lean protein, vegetables, fresh fruit and whole grains, and avoids processed foods, refined sugar and excess sodium. He eats about 5 meals a day, each containing some form of protein, along with healthy fats and complex carbs. He also drinks protein smoothies and takes supplements such as fish oil.
- Low Fat 20% 20%
- Low-Medium Carb 40% 40%
- Medium-High Protein 60% 60%
Eat Like a Pro
Nurmagomedov doesn’t mess around with his diet. He eats clean to keep himself in peak shape.
Nurmagomedov starts his day with a pre workout smoothie consisting of leafy greens, a banana, whey protein or pea protein, and maybe some brown rice along with water and ice.
Nurmagomedov includes a healthful form of each type of macronutrients (protein, fat, carbohydrates) at every meal, such as hard boiled eggs with peppers or grilled chicken with asparagus and olive oil, or perhaps beans with Pico de Gallo.
Nurmagomedov may be a professional, but he’s still human and he enjoys the occasional fast food burger or pizza just like everyone else. He puts on 20 lbs. when he’s not in training.
What to Eat
What to Avoid
Nurmagomedov on his Routine
‘My life consists of training, religion, sleep and meals.’
Nurmagomedov on his Needs
‘Give me 30 minutes of rest, little drink of water. Give me 30 minutes, and I can fight with anybody.’
Nurmagomedov on his Pre-fight Strategy
‘I need 8 weeks, train hard, last 1 week, make weight, and go to war.’ If you eat cake and Ho Hos, and that’s all you eat, that’s what your body uses to regenerate cells, that’s what your body uses to grow. All of your tissue is eventually going to be made out of everything you eat.
Khabib Nurmagomedov’s Fitness Routine
Low Tech Training
Nurmagomedov keeps things simple. He gave up wrestling bears and instead runs, shadowboxes, lifts rocks, does calisthenics and body weight exercises. He also hits the mitts and does partner drills.
Train Like Dad
Like his father, Nurmagomedov has a home gym. That way, he has no excuse not to work out (not that he was looking for one).
Nurmagomedov’s father trained him in Sambo, a Soviet martial art developed in the 1920s for the military to improve hand-to-hand combat.
Not Necessarily a Natural
Nurmagomedov says switching to judo was difficult for him, but his father insisted he learn to fight in the more restrictive gi jacket. He seems to have caught on.
Sweat It Out
Nurmagomedov hits the sauna about once a week to recover and sweat out extra water weight.
Running a regular feature of Nurmagomedov’s routine. He runs most days for about 90 minutes, and often doubles the distance as he approaches a fight.
Nurmagomedov runs in the morning, spars after lunch and then alternates between grappling and sparring in the evening.
Nurmagomedov only lifts weights 3 days a week for strength and conditioning, but not so much that he gets overworked.
A Khabib Nurmagomedov Routine
Run: 90 min in the morning/daily
Martial arts training: Afternoons/daily
Russian sauna: once/week
Nurmagomedov on his Strength
‘I’m more smart than tough…This is not about tough; this is about mind. You think when you fight. This is everything.’
Nurmagomedov on Making Weight
‘I never have a problem with the weight cut. My number one enemy is injuries because I train so hard.’
Nurmagomedov on his Fighting Style
‘My style is not like anyone’s. I’m not a typical wrestler.’
Nurmagomedov on Self-care
I like to go to a Russian sauna once a week.’
Khabib Nurmagomedov’s Supplements
Nurmagomedov takes a spoonful of fish oil each morning before his first workout. Fish oil is high in omega-3s which combat inflamma-tion, and also offer protective effects for the heart and brain.
Nurmagomedov has a morning smoothie made with pea protein or whey protein. Pea protein is plant-based but contains all the essen-tial amino acids.
Himalayan Pink Salt
Nurmagomedov watches his sodium intake, but when he does want a little sprinkle, he uses Himalayan pink salt which is high in mag-nesium, potassium and other trace minerals, and offers a natural way to restore the balance of electrolytes.
Nurmagomedov alternates between pea protein and whey protein. Whey protein builds muscle, is easily digested, and may also lower blood pressure and combat type 2 diabetes.
Khabib Nurmagomedov’s Lifestyle
Train Like A Dagestani
There is actual video footage of a 9-year-old Nurmagomedov wrestling a bear.
Nurmagomedov digs soccer. His favorite teams are Anzhi Makhachkala, Real Madrid, Liverpool and the Russian national team.
Nurmagomedov speaks multiple languages: Avar, Russian, English, Turkish and Arabic.
Nurmagomedov often wears his Dagestani sheepskin hat known as the papakha to display his cultural pride.
Nurmagomedov’s father is a decorated athlete and his cousin Abubakar also fights in the UFC.
Nurmagomedov on why he Fights
‘I don’t fight for the money. I fight for my legacy. I fight for history I fight for my people.’
Nurmagomedov on God
‘When Allah is with you, nobody can beat you. You have to believe this.’
Nurmagomedov on Real Cowboys
‘Cowboy is fake…I’m a real cowboy. I’m a mountain guy. I’m [in] training camp all my life. I’m wrestling with bears.’
Nurmagomedov on his Perfect Fight Record
‘You have to punch hard for knockouts, and to beat me, you have to knock me out.’
Nurmagomedov on being the First Muslim to Win a UFC Title
‘I know America is very nice and very good people…I never have a problem with somebody about my religion, about my name.’
Nurmagomedov on Success
Climb the mountain so you can see the world, not so the world can see you.’