Former MMA title holders Khabib Nurmagomedov and Daniel Cormier were inducted into UFC’s Hall of Fame on Friday (1 July)
Cormier, 43, is a former two-weight champion in the UFC. Nurmagomedov, 33, is the former lightweight champion who retired with a flawless 29-0 record.
Dubbed “The Odd Couple”, both announced their retirement from mixed martial arts (MMA) in 2020. “Me and Khabib going in together, it’s just a tremendous night,” Cormier said. “This means everything to me.”
A former US Olympic wrestler, Cormier (19-3), from Lafayette, Louisiana, became the UFC heavyweight champ in 2018.
Originally from Dagestan in Russia, Nurmagomedov moved the majority of his training camps in the UFC to American Kickboxing Academy in San Jose, California. Considered to be the greatest fighter of all time, Nurmagomedov enjoyed a massive rivalry with Conor McGregor.
Khabib and McGregor faced off at UFC 229 in October 2018. Nurmagomedov beat the Irish fighter in the fourth round. He retired in 2020 shortly after the death of his father even though he was still considered to be in prime of his career.
“Ten years ago, my mind was completely different,” Nurmagomedov said. “‘I’m going to be champion, I’m going to be rich, buy everything. But last two years, everything that happened, my mind changed. The way I was thinking changed. My father is not with me, and it’s very hard time to stand here and talk about him. It’s very emotional for me.”
Other inductees into the Hall of Fame are: featherweight bout between Cub Swanson (28-12) and Dooho Choi (14-4) from 2016 into the Fight Wing; featherweights Max Holloway and Giga Chikadze as two of its Forrest Griffin Community Award recipients.