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Khabib Nurmagomedov wins BBC World Sport Star of the Year award

Khabib Nurmagomedov has been named the BBC’s World Sport Star of the Year.

The UFC star saw off competition from pole-vaulter Armand Duplantis, basketballer LeBron James, golfer Dustin Johnson, footballer Wendie Renard and boxer Katie Taylor.

Nurmagomedov fought just once in 2020, submitting Justin Gaethje in October to retain his lightweight title and extend his unbeaten record to 29-0.

He then retired from mixed martial arts having promised his mother he would not fight on without his father who passed away earlier this year.

But he remains the UFC’s lightweight champion and will hold talks with president Dana White next month over a return.

An emotional Khabib Nurmagomedov

Nurmagomedov won the vacant belt in 2018 when he outpointed late stand-in opponent Al Iaquinta.

The Dagestan native then took on bitter rival Conor McGregor, choking out the Irishman in the fourth round.

Nurmagomedov then finished first Dustin Poirier and then Gaethje in a similar manner before announcing his retirement..

His emotional goodbye in the cage looked to be final, but White believes he can convince his fighter to aim for 30-0.

“I think his dad wanting him to get to 30-0 is in the back of his mind, and he wants to achieve that because he knew his father wanted it,”White told BT Sport.

“But we’ll see. Him and I are getting together next month and talk. He might not want to fight, I don’t know the answer to that. But I’m a little confident that I can talk him into it.”   




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