‘Convincing victory’: Vladimir Putin congratulates Khabib Nurmagomedov on UFC 242 win
Russian President Vladimir Putin has congratulated UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov following his dominant victory over interim champion Dustin Poirier at UFC 242 in Abu Dhabi, RT reports.
Putin, who is on a business trip to Dagestan, met with Khabib and his father in Makhachkala and praised him for his dominant performance and impressive fighting technique.
“I want to congratulate you. It was a decent fight against a strong and tenacious rival,” Putin told Khabib.
“Yes, the opponent was strong and respectable. This time around I fought against a person who respected me,” replied Khabib, making reference to last year’s bad-tempered clash with Conor McGregor in Las Vegas.
Vladimir Putin congratulates Khabib Nurmagomedov and his father © Sputnik / Alexei Nikolsky
“Well it depends on the person,” Putin went on to say. “But of course a professional athlete should be like this. You had a convincing victory. I watched the fight, you submitted him with a rear-naked choke, it was a classic choke hold. You did it in the correct way, without squeezing his throat, but holding him on both sides of the neck, as it should be. It was all fair,” the Russian president added.
Nurmagomedov told Putin that his father had helped him throughout the entire fight, giving him instructions on which tactics to use against Poirier.
“I let his punch get through in the second round… then I heard my father’s angry voice tell me ‘get back to wrestling’,” Khabib recalled.
Nurmagomedov also stressed that he felt some pressure because of the crowd’s overwhelming support, but managed to relax after entering the octagon.