AKA Coach Javier Mendez feels that Usman Nurmagomedov is better than UFC icons Khabib Nurmagomedov and Islam Makhachev.
The AKA coach was quite complimentary of Nurmagomedov's talent level. The most talented fighter he has ever taught, according to him, is the Bellator lightweight champion. Given the numerous champions including Khabib Nurmagomedov, Daniel Cormier, Cain Velasquez and Islam Makhachev who have trained under his guidance at AKA, this achievement is extremely remarkable.
"I've said it before when I trained him, that he's got the most skill out of everybody I have ever trained in my whole entire life. And what has he done? He's gone and proved it, he's done everything. All his fights showcase great Jiu-Jitsu, great wrestling ability, great striking, great [mental work.],” Mendez added.
Usman Nurmagomedov, the current Bellator Lightweight World Champion, competes in the Lightweight division of Bellator MMA. He has previously fought in the UAE Warriors and Eagle Fighting Championship (formerly Gorilla Fighting Championship).
Usman, the younger brother of UFC fighter Umar Nurmagomedov and a cousin of former UFC Lightweight Champion Khabib Nurmagomedov is currently ranked #5 in the Bellator men's pound-for-pound rankings as of March 14, 2023.
Born on April 17, 1998, in Kizilyurt, Republic of Dagestan, Usman Nurmagomedov started attending freestyle wrestling practice with his brother Umar at the age of eight in their native village.
As Umar transitioned to Thai boxing, Usman followed in his footsteps. Eventually, the family moved to Makhachkala, where Usman trained under his uncle, Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov, at the Eagles MMA camp. There, he gained sambo skills and trained alongside notable teammates such as Khabib Nurmagomedov and Islam Makhachev.
Usman Nurmagomedov embarked on his professional MMA career on March 26, 2017, at the Moscow Pankration Federation promotion tournament in Moscow, where he faced Imran Abdiev. Usman secured his first victory via armbar submission in the first round of the fight.
Following his successful debut, Nurmagomedov continued his winning streak in various organizations such as GFC and UAE Warriors, winning his next ten fights, with all but one ending in knockout or submission. In the Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov Memory Tournament, Usman clinched his 11th professional win, which paved the way for him to sign a multi-fight contract with Bellator.
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