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UFC Champion Khabib Nurmagomedov Thanks M-1 Global

Nurmagomedov, who is expected to face Dustin Poirier later this year to unify the titles, explained his history with M-1 Global recently.

UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov is currently serving a suspension for his role in the post-fight melee last year following a submission win vs. Conor McGregor.

While doing so, Nurmagomedov is keeping busy in Russia, appearing at a recent M-1 Global press event to discuss his history with the promotion.

“Many fans know me because of my UFC fights, but I’d like to mention that before UFC I had 16 fights in my career, and it was a solid foundation,” Nurmagomedov said. “Three of these fights I had in M-1 Global against some very tough opponents back in 2009, when I was just a 19-20 years old athlete at the beginning of my path. M-1 Global gave me an opportunity to show my best and gain experience. I fought there three times and since then we are good friends and are still in contact.

“After 10 years I’ve become a champion, but nothing has changed, we are still in good relations and I want to say thank you to Vadim Finkelchtein and the whole M-1 Global promotion.”

Nurmagomedov is scheduled to unify the lightweight titles with interim champion Dustin Poirier likely this summer. The two have targeted September for their possible fight.

Between 2009 and 2011, Nurmagomedov finished off all three opponents he fought in M-1 Global competition: Shakhbulat Shamkhalaev, Vitaly Ostrovskiy and Alexander Agafonov.

Last summer, the Russian-Chinese investment fund, Mubadala Investment Company, and Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), jointly announced the foundation of UFC Russia, which promotes MMA and organizes shows in Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).

M-1 Global is a partner responsible for scouting and signing Russian athletes to prepare them to fight in the UFC. M-1 Challenge champions have a unique opportunity to sign contracts with the UFC.

Speaking of McGregor, here’s the first column in the weekly series “Damn, It’s True” explaining how “Notorious” has alienated some with his use of social media, specifically Twitter.

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