Video and photo of the fight
January 20th, 2012 turned a new page in the modern history of MMA. The 24 year old Khabib Nurmagomedov became the first Russian to step into the Octagon for a very long time.
In his debut, he had to oppose an experienced and strong fighter, WEC veteran Kamal Shalorus.
The course of combat:
Mario Yamasaki is the referee of the bout. Up until now, Khabib has seen him only in the Internet and on DVDs with fight recordings. But today he is the third person inside the Octagon.
The fight begins with the usual glove touch and sizing up. 30 seconds later, Shalorus presses Khabib to the cage and throws a big double left hook. Khabib covers himself and approaches the opponent closely and looks for a takedown. Kamal is quick to stand up, but he continues wrestling without breaking the grapple. Khabib gets a dead grip of the opponent and won’t let him go, but the experience shows, and Shalorus escapes the grip. The Eagle doesn’t want to lose the lead, but the constant change of the stance catches him off guard, and he has to retreat. During such a retreat drives the Eagle up against the cage, and then throws a body hook finishing with an overhand. During one of these retreats, not having any space left behind, Khabib goes for a takedown making him perform a sprawl and open the upper body. Things move fast. As Kamal is bouncing from the takedown and getting back on his feet, Khabib grabs his chin and scores a knockdown. Seeing Shalorus fall, Khabib rushes for some brutal ground and pound. Shalorus tries to stand up, but Khabib pushes him, and he crashes again on the canvas. He is clearly still out. By a miracle, despite the firing storm, Shalorus makes it to the bell. Thanks to Khabib's trong pressings, he is again in the lead in the end of the round. An excellent first round for the young Russian fighter.
I felt that UFC was a completely different level compared to the organizations where I’d fought before. But I felt confident and did not doubt that I would win. The first couple of minutes were hard, but then I landed a knockdown, took the lead and finished early.
Khabib start the second round in high spirits. After the secured win in the first round, Khabib was looking for a successful second fight. 40 seconds after the start, he dominates in par terre taking more advantageous positions. In the middle of the first round referee Mario Yamasaki stands the fighters up. But just a moment later, he performs a successful takedown attempt. Already in the debut bout, the audience and MMA analysts notice Khabib's excellent par terre skills for such a young age. The win in the second round goes to Khabib.
Exhausted Shalorus and vigorous Khabib start the round standing. The first minute is spent in exchanges of threats and actual strikes. A minute later, Khabib makes the first takedown attempt in the third round. Just a tentative shot, perhaps, only to probe the opponent. The next attempt is more successful. Khabib gets Kamal down on the ground, but loses his neck. But the Iranian fails to complete his grapple, and Khabib gets out easily. A couple of brutal hits, and Shalorus starts feeling uncomfortable in par terre. He tries to switch the position, but unsuccessfully, Khabib's grapple is strong and relentless. The debut pressure keeps the Eagle going. Shalorus has to give up. The Eagle gets his first win. Such a significant victory for the whole Russian MMA community. This win was his first strong statement.