Cristiano Ronaldo would have been UFC champion if he was born in Dagestan, says Khabib, who reveals hopes of playing professional football
Khabib Nurmagomedov claims Cristiano Ronaldo would have become a UFC champion if he was born in his native Dagestan.
Ronaldo is regarded as one of football’s greatest ever players following hugely successful goalscoring spells with Manchester United, Real Madrid, the Portuguese national team and now Juventus.
But former UFC star Khabib reckons the Portugal captain would have had a different career path – inside the octagon – if he was born in his home Russian province.
In an Instagram post of himself at the Camp Nou as he watched Kylian Mbappe tear Barcelona apart in the Champions League earlier this week, Khabib wrote: “I’ve loved football since my childhood and always dreamed of becoming a footballer.
“But I was born in Dagestan and you know yourselves, what the priority is.
“Who knows, maybe if Cristiano Ronaldo was born in Dagestan, he would have also become a UFC champion.
“I want to say that football is sport and I became a fighter by accident. I’m joking, not by accident.
“I will tell you sometime, about my own obsession with football in childhood and how sitting in class in sixth grade I wrote in my notebook 200 football names (there was no internet back then).
“I was pleased to be at this legendary stadium and see in real life such a battle.”
Khabib retired from mixed martial arts after defeating Justin Gaethje at UFC 254 last October.
And the 32-year-old harbours hopes of making it as a professional footballer one day.
He told Match TV: “To play football on a professional level is a childhood dream.
“Of course, I have such a wish. Football is the king of sports after all.
“Who haven’t I discussed this with? I’ve spoken even with the UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin, with the owner of PSG [Tamim bin Hamad Al Than], yes and even with Cristiano Ronaldo.”