Khabib Nurmagomedov. UFC. MMA. Combat Sambo. Pankration. Dagestan.

Where Eagles Dare – Khabib Nurmagomedov Workout

Welcome to our 'Where Eagle's Dare' Workout. The first of our MMA Legend workouts. Based on the training regime of Dagestan's finest son Khabib Nurmagomedov

Want to skip the intro and go straight to the Khabib Nurmagomedov workouts? Click below!

Table of Contents

Introduction

Khabib Nurmagomedov is a Russian former professional mixed martial artist, regarded by many as one of the greatest fighters in MMA history.  He is most famous for his time in the lightweight division of the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship), where he is the longest-reigning UFC Lightweight Champion, having held the title since April 2018. With 29 wins and no losses.  Khabib retired after his last bout against Justin Gaethje with an undefeated record.

Background

Prior to his UFC career, Khabib was already a two-time Combat Sambo World Champion.  He possessed a background in the disciplines of Sambo, Judo and Graeco-roman Pankration style wrestling.  His wrestling style enabled him to dominate his division in the sport.  Indeed, even elite fighters have been unable to deal with his relentless style once the fight hit the ground.  Following, Khabib’s last title defence (against Gaethje) he currently stands at 29-0 and his future in MMA is uncertain.  The death of his father impacted him greatly and Khabib had stated he wished to move onto other things.  However, one of his father’s wishes is that Khabib won 30 MMA fights and then retired. Does that mean that he will return to the octagon for one last fight to round the victory tally up? Time will tell.  Regardless, Khabib Nurmagomedov is still currently ranked number 1 in the UFC men’s pound-for-pound rankings

Khabib Nurmagomedov. MMA. UFC. Wrestlings bears. Dagestan.
Khabib Nurmagomedov. The boy who wrestled bears. One of Khabib's most notorious videos from his youth is of him when he was nine years old wrestling a bear!

Humble Beginnings

Growing up in Dagestan, Russia, Khabib’s interest in martial arts began when he watched students training at the local gym.  He started at the age of eight under the tutelage of his father, Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov.  Abdulmanap had also wrestled from an early age and had undertaken combat training in judo and sambo in the military.  When the family moved to Makhachkala (Dagestan’s capital) continued to wrestle before starting judo at the age of 15.  Khabib frequently got into street fights in his youth, before knuckling down and focusing his attention on MMA. 

Khabib trained at the Makhachev Freestyle Wrestling Club whilst growing up in Dagestan.  Later when he began fighting in the US he joined the AKA (American Kickboxing Academy). Since becoming successful within the UFC, Nurmagomedov has gone on to form his own fight team Eagles MMA.

Khabib's greatest win, against rival 'the Notorious' Conor McGregor

Style

Naturally, Khabib’s style is heavily wrestling-based, with an emphasis on putting relentless pressure against his opponents.  Utilising his background of grappling, judo/sambo takedowns combined with his deceptive strength Khabib will pressure his opponents against the cage.  He tends to ‘tie up’ his opponent’s limbs to prevent them from escaping and stop them from throwing strikes.  From this position, he mercilessly dominates and wears out his opponents.  His opponents have to work to remove Khabib’s weight off them whilst he rains down a continual bombardment of strikes on them.  With their limbs ‘tied up,’ the fighters have little defence as they are pummelled relentlessly.  Most of Khabib’s fights have ended with stoppages when the referee has seen enough or when his opponent submits/taps/passes out.  As of UFC 254, nineteen of Khabib Nurmagomedov twenty-nine victories had come by way of either TKO/KO or submission. 

Khabib Nurmagomedov. MMA. UFC. Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov. Khabib's father.
Khabib with father and trainer the late Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov.

Stats

Khabib Nurmagomedov statistics. UFC. MMA. Combat Sambo. Pankration. Dagestan.

Fight Record

Khabib Nurmagomedov statistics. UFC. MMA. Combat Sambo. Pankration. Dagestan.

Significant Professional fights

Khabib was initially scheduled to fight then-interim Ferguson for the light heavyweight title.  However, weeks from the fight, Ferguson injured his knee and had to cancel.  Ferguson’s injury meant he had to vacate the title leaving it up for grabs between Khabib and the next ranked contender.  UFC desperately scrambled to find a replacement and the gauntlet was picked up at short notice by Max Holloway.  However, Holloway was later pulled from the fight after being declared unfit to compete due to extreme weight cutting. 

 

Raging’ Al

This left UFC in a bad position, with less than a week to go before the card.  There also appeared to be no-one on the roster able to step up at short notice.  Enter ‘Raging’ Al Iaquinta, the tough-as-nails real estate agent ranked 14th at the time to fill the gap.  Due to Iaquinta being ranked so low down the rankings. only Nurmagomedov was eligible to win the championship.  Nurmagomedov dominated the fight interestingly deciding to ignore his usual gameplay of ground wrestling and engaging in a standup fight.  Nurmagomedov won via unanimous decision to be finally crowned the UFC Lightweight Champion.

On Friday, 3 August 2018, the UFC announced that Nurmagomedov would make his first defence of his lightweight title. This would be against Conor McGregor at UFC 229 on 6 October in Las Vegas. The build-up to the fight is one of the darkest chapters of UFC history with various confrontations between the two camps.  To say emotions were running high or there was no love lost between them, was the understatement of the century. 

 

Post-fight brawl

In the match itself, Nurmagomedov won the first two rounds, but lost to McGregor in the third round. Khabib had never lost a single round until that point!  He managed to defeat McGregor in the fourth round via submission. The event is notorious (no pun intended) for the aftermath of the contest.  An enraged Nurmagomedov (goaded by McGregor teammate Dillon Danis) scaled the Octagon and attempted to attack Dillon Danis.  This resulted in a mass brawl between the two teams with resulting fines and bans from fighting for both fighters afterwards.  The event drew 2.4 million pay-per-view buys, the most ever for an MMA event.

Nurmagomedov made the second defence of his title against interim lightweight champion Dustin Poirier.  Poirier became interim champion following Khabib suspension after the McGregor match. This was the main event at UFC 242 on 7 September 2019 in Abu Dhabi, UAE.   

Khabib won the fight via a rear-naked choke submission in the third round.  The win unified both titles and earned Nurmagomedov his second Performance of the Night bonus award.  The respect between the two fighters was a stark contrast to the lack of respect between Khabib/McGregor in the previous fight.  After the contest, the fighters swapped shirts as a show of respect.  In the post-fight interview Khabib revealed he would sell Poirier’s shirt and donating the proceeds to Poirier’s charity.  The shirt sold for $100,000 and the donation was matched by UFC president Dana White.

Nurmagomedov was scheduled to defend his title against Tony Ferguson on 18 April 2020 at UFC 249. This was the fifth time that a fight between the pair had been scheduled, and both fighters were on 12-fight win streaks in the UFC.  However, Nurmagomedov couldn’t leave Russia because of COVID-19 restricted air travel regulations and was removed from the card.  Ferguson instead faced top contender Justin Gaethje for the interim UFC Lightweight Championship at UFC 249.  Gaethje won the fight by fifth-round TKO, securing himself a shot at the undisputed title against Khabib.

 

Unification Bout

Nurmagomedov faced Gaethje in a unification bout on 24 October 2020 in the main event at UFC 254.  This would be the first match in which Khabib would be without the guidance of his father who had passed earlier in the year.  Nurmagomedov won via submission (triangle choke) in the second round to defend and reunify the UFC Lightweight Championship. He immediately broke down in tears after winning the match as emotion from the memory of his father overwhelmed him.  He was consoled by Gaethje in a great show of sportsmanship.  In his post-fight interview, Nurmagomedov announced his retirement from mixed martial arts. He explained that he had promised his mother that he would not continue to fight without his late father.

Training

How does a Dagestani Eagle prepare for a fight?  Khabib uses a fairly low tech approach with training in comparison to the average UFC fighter training in a high tech UFC gym.

When Khabib trains in Dagestan the training is as basic as possible.  Khabib is often shown in videos training in sparse gyms or outdoors, in all conditions, in the Dagestan hills and mountains.  

Within his training is a massive focus on cardio fitness and endurance, muscle building, power, speed and engaging all fast-twitch fibres with speed bursts and dynamic exercises.

For strength conditioning, bodyweight exercises appear to be favoured.  The exercises that Khabib favours leaves him strong and ensures he builds lean muscle mass rather than bulky muscle. The bag-work and wrestling drills round off the conditioning by providing cardiovascular endurance and working the core.

Khabib Nurmagomedov. MMA. UFC. Khabib training.
Khabib frequently wears a papakha hat from his native Dagestani Avar culture at promotional events and after fights.

Where Eagle's Dare Workout

These circuits are based on the training regime of Khabib Nurmagomedov.  They are a combination of bodyweight, resistance exercise, various cardiovascular methods, wrestling and MMA drills.  We hope you enjoy them. 🙂

You will need...

Various functional low tech equipment can be used (although not essential) any equipment found here that you do not have access to can easily be supplemented. Useful equipment for these workouts, however, will include sandbags, dumbbells, barbells, boxing/MMA gloves, punchbag, sparring pads, medicine balls, resistance bands.

Structure

The training is over 5 days per week with Saturday and Sunday left for active recovery.  Day-to-day, the training is spread out over 2 sessions to be undertaken in the morning and afternoon or evening (am/pm).  Undertake a cardio session of your choice in the morning (30-45mins), then undertake fitness and conditioning and MMA drills on consecutive days (so Monday fitness, then Tuesday MMA drills for example).

The afternoons/evening sessions will be sessions of fitness training and MMA drills approximately 30 – 45 minutes for each.  The fitness sessions will consist of body weight, resistance and some cardio work, whilst the MMA drills will concentrate on shadowboxing rounds, wrestling drills, bag work and bodyweight exercises. 

1. Cardio

2. Fitness and conditioning.

3. Wrestling and Striking drills. 

Khabib Nurmagomedov. UFC. MMA. Combat Sambo. Pankration. Dagestan. MMA Workout. Strength and conditioning. Bodyweight workouts. Resistance training. MMA drills.

1. Cardio Training - (4-5 days a week)

30-45 minutes of cardio drills.  Alternate between steady-state and shorter intense drills (for instance 1-day sprint training, the following day a light jog). Bring out your inner Dagestani and try to make sure the exercise is outdoors in the fresh air.

Cardio to choose from:-

  • Sprints.
  • Hill Sprints.
  • Swimming.
  • Longer distance runs. 45 mins.
  • Rowing.
  • Stair climbing.
Swimming for fitness. Drown proofing. HIIT cardio.
Rowing. Cardio Work. Halls of Valhalla Workout. Warrior Workouts. Super Soldier Project.

2. Fitness and Conditioning - (3 days a week/every other day)

Circuit 1 - Indoors

Warm-up – Treadmill – 10 mins steady-state, easy pace.

Superset (for 5 rounds)

  • Zercher squats – 12 reps 75-80% of 1RM x 5
  • Treadmill or measured sprints – 5 mins.  30secs 80-90% max pace. 30 secs recovery X4.  On final sprint 100% max pace for 30 seconds.
Khabib Nurmagomedov. UFC. MMA. Combat Sambo. Pankration. Dagestan. MMA Workout. Strength and conditioning. Bodyweight workouts. Resistance training. MMA drills.

Triple Superset (for 5 rounds)

  • Bench Press (Barbell or Dumbells) 12 reps of 75-85% of 1RM.
  • Push-ups x15 reps (to failure on the last set).
  • Rowing x 2 mins.
Khabib Nurmagomedov. UFC. MMA. Combat Sambo. Pankration. Dagestan. MMA Workout. Strength and conditioning. Bodyweight workouts. Resistance training. MMA drills.

Superset – 5 rounds (30 seconds rest between rounds)

  • 2 minutes of bag work (or shadowboxing).
  • 1 minute of burpees.
Khabib Nurmagomedov. UFC. MMA. Combat Sambo. Pankration. Dagestan. MMA Workout. Strength and conditioning. Bodyweight workouts. Resistance training. MMA drills.

Triple Superset – 4 x rounds

  • Triceps dips X 15 reps for 4 rounds.
  • DB Lunge walks.
  • Bosu ball with med ball throw.

Finish – 5 minutes of ‘Smash the Bag’ – Jog whilst carrying a sandbag on your shoulder for 25 metres, slam, 10X punches, sprint and back. Repeat.

Circuit 2 - Outdoors

Circuit 5 x rounds. Set up stations and move from one to the other. 30 seconds rest only between rounds.

  1. Halos (kettlebell/dumbbell) x20 reps (10 x clockwise/10 x anticlockwise).
  2. Weighted woodcutters x 30 reps (15 right/15 x left).
  3. Push-ups x 20 reps.
  4. Sprint drills (x 25 metres) with ground and pound x 20 punches (10 left/10 right – as fast as possible).
  5. Weighted squats jumps x 20 reps.
  6. Hill sprints x 8 (each sprint followed by 20 x reps sit-ups with air punches).
  7. Medicine ball slams x 20 reps.
  8. Triceps dips x 20 reps.
Khabib Nurmagomedov. UFC. MMA. Combat Sambo. Pankration. Dagestan. MMA Workout. Strength and conditioning. Bodyweight workouts. Resistance training. MMA drills.

Finish – 5 minute round of all-out bag work or shadow boxing

5 minute round of all-out bag work or shadow boxing

Circuit 3 - Indoors

Warm-up – Treadmill – 10 mins steady-state, easy pace.

Superset – 5 rounds (30 seconds rest between rounds)

  • Deadlifts – 12 reps 75-80% of 1RM.
  • Squat hops – 25metres – 10 burpees then return.
  • Assault bike – 30 secs then 1-minute speed.

Triple Superset x 5 rounds

  • Barbell rows (Barbell or Dumbbells) x 12 reps of 75-85% of 1RM.
  • Pull-ups x 10 reps (to failure on the last set).
  • Rowing x 2 mins.

Superset – 5 rounds (30 seconds rest between rounds)

  • 2 minutes of bag work (or shadow boxing)
  • 1 minute of burpees.
Khabib Nurmagomedov. UFC. MMA. Combat Sambo. Pankration. Dagestan. MMA Workout. Strength and conditioning. Bodyweight workouts. Resistance training. MMA drills.

Giant set – 4 x rounds

  • Sandbag shouldering X 15 reps for 4 rounds
  • Dumbbell thrusters x 15 reps.
  • Agility mat hops for 1 minute.
  • Med ball sit-ups and wall throw x 15 reps.
  • Farmer’s walks for 1 minute.
Khabib Nurmagomedov. UFC. MMA. Combat Sambo. Pankration. Dagestan. MMA Workout. Strength and conditioning. Bodyweight workouts. Resistance training. MMA drills.

Finish – 5 minutes of ‘Smash the Bag’ – Jog whilst carrying a sandbag on your shoulder for 25 metres, slam, 10X punches, sprint and back. Repeat.

Khabib Nurmagomedov. UFC. MMA. Combat Sambo. Pankration. Dagestan. MMA Workout. Strength and conditioning. Bodyweight workouts. Resistance training. MMA drills.

Circuit 4 - Outside

Circuit 5 x rounds. Set up stations and move from one to the other. 30 seconds rest only between rounds.

  1. Shoulder throws with resistance bands x 20 reps (10 x left shoulder/10 x over right shoulder).
  2. Burpees x 25 reps.
  3. Agility lateral drills cones with 20-second combo at end X 4 reps.
  4. Wallball squats and throws x 1 minute.
  5. Hill sprints x 8 with sit-ups and air punches x 20 reps.
  6. Suicide planks x 30 seconds.
  7. Reverse crunch x 20 reps.
  8. Judo push-ups x 15 reps.

Finish – 5 minute round of all-out bag work or shadow boxing

3. Wrestling and Striking Drills - (2-3 days a week)

The MMA training is split into wrestling and striking components.  One day will be wrestling drills, the next striking drills.  The drills will involve pads and sandbags, but fear not if you don’t have that equipment.  Be creative, shadowbox, use pillows and make your own sandbag.  Partnering up for this would be good but again don’t worry if you have to train alone, the main thing is getting this done.

Striking - 7 stations - 20-30 minutes - AMRAP - No rest

  1. Shadow Boxing x 1 minute. 
  2. Agility Drill x 1 minute. Use an agility mat if you have one, or simply mark out spots on the ground and jump back and forth over them as fast as you can. Switch up the pattern-move back and forth, side to side, and diagonally.
  3. Rope jump x 1 minute. 
  4. Kicking Drill x 30 kicks. Do ten reps of a ‘teep’ kick. Do them slowly, focusing on form. Immediately do another set, this time faster, but still keeping an eye on good form. For the last set kick as last as you can.
  5. Sprints x 25 metres there and back and punch bag x10 as fast as you can. Repeat x 1.
  6. Combination attacks on the heavy bag x 1 minute. Simple combinations on the heavy bag. Use, knees, kicks, elbows and fists.
  7. Sprints x 25 metres with 10 x jumping knee attacks to bag. Repeat x 1.
Khabib Nurmagomedov. UFC. MMA. Combat Sambo. Pankration. Dagestan. MMA Workout. Strength and conditioning. Bodyweight workouts. Resistance training. MMA drills.

Wrestling Drills- 8 stations 20-30 minutes - AMRAP - No rest

  1. Sandbag shouldering and drop x 1 minute.
  2. MMA floor kick-outs x 45 seconds.
  3. Firemans carries/Sandbag carry sprint drills x 25 metres. Drop bag. Sprint 25 metres and back. Repeat.
  4. Clinch work on the heavy bag x 1 minute.  Grabbing the heavy bag close to shoulders in the clinch.  Pummel it for the duration using elbows, fists, hammer-fists and knees, from various angles. Keep close and don’t stop.
  5. MMA sprawls and counter-attacks x 1 minute.  Sprawl and get up with an immediate counter flurry of kicks and punches. Repeat.
  6. MMA Ground and pound on the punch bag x 1 minute. Constantly switch position between ‘Full mount’ (sat on top of bag) and ‘Half Guard’ (on either side of the bag). Repeatedly punch bag into oblivion.
  7. Alternate sandbag squats x 1 minute.  Squat with the sandbag on one shoulder. On returning to standing, raise the sandbag above the head and transfer to the opposite shoulder. Squat. Repeat for time.
  8. Alternate sandbag half-get ups. x 1 minute.

Whichever workout you undertake. Remember to always cool down, stretch and drink water!

Workout Complete!!

Khabib Nurmagomedov statistics. UFC. MMA. Combat Sambo. Pankration. Dagestan.

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