Khabib Nurmagomedov left the world of MMA with awe when he saw a bear wrestling go viral a few years ago. The Dagestani was nine years old at the time and, according to his father, the late Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov, Khabib’s wrestling with the bear was to test his character, not his dexterity skills.
Of course, ‘Eagle’ will become one of the most dominant wrestlers in UFC history. The 32-year-old collected an undefeated record (29-0) before finally hanging up his gloves in October 2020.
However, Khabib Nurmagomedov’s willingness to fight the bears will not stop with his childhood. Once again, he caught a brown bear from Dagestan – this time as an adult.
In September 2019, 30-year-old Nurmagomedov was seen fighting with a chained bear, while the rest of his companions watched him with a dazzling expression.
During a recent interview with ESPN, Khabib Nurmagomedov shed some light on his experience of bear wrestling as a child. The Dagestani fighter recalled his concern about a bear trying to bite him, but his father would simply ask Nurmagomedov to bite the bear.
“Do you think I would be afraid of bears? No” – Khabib Nurmagomedov
During his interview with Giannis P in 2015, Khabib Nurmagomedov explained that the bears he once wrestled were “wrestling bears” who were taught how to wrestle.
The ‘Eagle’ also described his urge to catch a bear predator and added that he was never afraid to indulge in grappling exchanges with animals.
“These are bears wrestling. They’re like circus bears that their trainers teach them to wrestle. He took me twice, but I took him too. Guys my age were afraid to wrestle with a bear, but I told my father I wanted to fight with a bear. I started wrestling when I was five and my father had a gym where he taught wrestling to many boys. I learned wrestling from my father all my life. I was a nine-year-old wrestler with my father. Do you think I would be scared of a bear? No, “he said Khabib Nurmagomedov.