Umar Nurmagomedov (14-0, 2-0 UFC) extended his unbeaten streak to 14 at UFC 272, when he made quick work of Brian Kelleher (24-13, 8-6 UFC). Umar was able to sink in a rear-naked choke just 3:15 into the very first round of their featherweight tilt. The victory is sure to raise the stock of Nurmagomedov, while it puts an end to Kelleher’s 2 fight win streak.
Both of Umar’s UFC wins have come courtesy of the rear-naked choke. Two victories, two appearances inside the Octagon, and two finishes have been the tally so far. Umar has found himself knocking on the door of the top 15, the only question now is who’s going to answer.
A Beast from the Beginning
The Dagestan native made his professional debut in 2016, at the tender age of 21. Since then, Nurmagomedov has dispatched anyone that stood across from him. Being the cousin of retired UFC legend Khabib Nurmagomedov has its advantages, as Umar often displays a similar smother-and-drown style of fighting, and Khabib is often in his corner. Umar Nurmagomedov fought for various promotions, as he worked his way into the UFC. Most notably, Umar fought for Professional Fighters League (PFL). The Dagestan native also fought in Gorilla Fighting and Fight Night Global, where he began his pro journey.
Umar is nasty on the ground and has no problem taking one’s neck. He currently has 7 wins via submission, and all 7 are chokes. Nurmagomedov racked up 3 submissions within his first 4 fights, and he’s also credited with 1 knockout victory, and 6 decision wins. Every decision credited to Umar has been unanimous, which just shows how dominant he’s been in each one of his professional fights.
The Future Looks Bright
Umar Nurmagomedov better wear his sunglasses, because the young man’s future is looking bright. At just 26 years of age, Nurmagomedov probably hasn’t even hit his athletic prime. The bantamweight prospect may want a quick turnaround after his latest masterpiece, as he appeared to take minimal damage against Kelleher. It’s also worth noting that Nurmagomedov went up a weight class in his most recent outing, and still dominated the veteran. Umar’s usual home is at 135lbs, and he’s expected to return to the bantamweight division in the foreseeable future.
Umar Nurmagomedov’s coach Javier Mendez is firm in his belief that the young star will be the bantamweight champion. Javier recently spoke about him during an interview with the Schmo, where Mendez states that he’s unsure about a featherweight run right now, but believes he will be bantamweight king. Umar relies heavily on his wrestling base, but by no means is he a one-dimensional fighter. He has great kicks, a durable chin, and incredible cardio.
Nurmagomedov has some of the best in the business around him to guide him through what could be a historic career. The UFC has a star in the making, and how they decide to bring Umar up through the rankings could be a key component in his career.
Some believe that Umar Nurmagomedov could be a real challenge for many fighters currently ranked in the bantamweight division. There’s no doubt he could pose danger for some of the aging fighters ranked 10 thru 15, but there’s really no need to rush him at this point. Nurmagomedov would more than likely benefit from one or two more fights before taking a dive into the rankings pool.
Who do you want Umar Nurmagomedov to face next? Let us know in the comments!
Follow me on Twitter @brent_dolan to stay current with all my work, and follow @OTHeroicsMMA to stay up to date with everything combat sports.
Featured Image Credits to Embed from Getty Images