In his MMA career, Khabib Nurmagomedov‘s wrestling roots have paid off. Nurmagomedov was fortunate to have trained with some of Russia’s best grappling talents while growing up. Sazhid Khalilrakhmanovich Sazhidov, a former Russian Olympian, is one of them.
Nurmagomedov was formally coached by Sazhidov, who is the current Minister of Physical Culture and Sports RD in Dagestan. The 41-year-old wrestler has competed for Russia in a number of prestigious events, including the FILA wrestling championships (2003 and 2006) and the World Military Games (2007).
Sazhidov’s most notable achievement was winning a bronze medal in freestyle wrestling in the 84kg division at the 2004 Athens Olympics. The Russian finished third in the tournament after defeating former UFC middleweight challenger Yoel Romero.
Later, the grappling ace became the head coach of the Dagestan wrestling team. Abdulrashid Sadulaev (Olympic gold medalist), Nariman Israpilov (European Champion), and Abdusalam Gadisov have all benefited from Sazhidov’s guidance as a coach (World Champion).
Nurmagomedov took to his Instagram handle to share a photo with Sazhidov. He wished his former coach success in his future endeavours.
A video went viral where Nurmagomedov can be seen interacting with Yoel Romero. In the video, Nurmagomedov was seen reminiscing about his time spent in Makhachkala.
Romero asked ‘The Eagle’ if he had met Sazhid Sazhidov in Russia. The former UFC lightweight champion revealed that he has known the legendary coach since he was a child. Romero also praised Sazhidov’s hospitality and expressed a desire to return to Makhachkala.
During their conversation, Romero said, “Hey, Sazhid! My man. I want to see you again. Maybe next year [I will] go to Makhachkala. I will go with you and your family to your house. I want to talk to you, I love you, bro. I love you. I had a good time with you in wrestling. I had a good time with you in Makhachkala. God bless you, my man.”