Khabib Nurmagomedov has been named the World Sport Star of 2020 at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year. The Russian lightweight only competed once in 2020 when he defeated Justin Gaethje by second-round submission in October at UFC 254. Following his dominant victory, Nurmagomedov announced his retirement. Having lost his father earlier in the year, ‘The Eagle’ broke down in the octagon and called time on his amazing career. 29-0 in professional MMA with 19 finishes, the Russian leaves behind a huge legacy.
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) December 17, 2020
Is Khabib Nurmagomedov truly retired? Who knows. As of yet, it appears that his retirement may not be forever. UFC president, Dana White is supposedly already in talks with Nurmagomedov with regards to a possible return to the octagon.
Currently, however, the lightweight division is moving on. This past weekend, Charles Oliveira made a strong statement that he should get a title shot. We also have the return of Conor McGregor, as well as a host of potential contenders coming through. Nurmagomedov has dominated all opposition so having new opponents is certainly exciting.
Following an online vote, Khabib Nurmagoemdov notched the BBC’s World Sport Star of 2020. On his way to victory, he received more votes than basketballer, LeBron James, golfer, Dustin Johnson and fellow combat sports athlete, Katie Taylor, amongst others. Previous winners of the prestigious award include Simone Biles, Roger Federer, Francesco Molinari and Eliud Kipchoge.
This is the first time that an MMA star has been truly recognised by the BBC in the UK. As far as combat sports is concerned, boxing has dominated the competition. Joe Calzaghe notched the sports personality of the year award in 2007, with Ricky Hatton coming third in the same year. Prior to that, you’d have to go back to 1999 when Lennox Lewis won the award. The award is often dominated by ‘mainstream’ sports, with the last three winners of the award being cricket, cycling and athletics stars.
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