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UFC star Khabib Nurmagomedov wins BBC World Sport Star of the Year award

Last updated 1 month ago | By Mirror

Oct 6, 2018; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Khabib Nurmagomedov (red gloves) fights Conor McGregor (blue gloves) during UFC 229 at T-Mobile Arena. [Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports]

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.

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

In this Sept. 7, 2019, file photo, Russia's Khabib Nurmagomedov, right, fights with Dustin Poirier, of Lafayette, La., during a lightweight title mixed martial arts bout at UFC 242 in Yas Mall in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Nurmagomedov will risk his unbeaten record and his UFC lightweight title against interim champion Justin Gaethje in the main event of UFC 254 in Abu Dhabi on Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020. (AP Photo/Mahmoud Khaled, File)

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.

Nurmagomedov, UFC lightweight champion who defeated Conor McGregor of Ireland in the main event of UFC 229, attends the ceremony of honouring him at Anzhi Arena in Kaspiysk, a city in the republic of Dagestan, Russia October 8, 2018. Picture was taken October 8, 2018. [Reuters, Said Tsarnayev]

"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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