UFC icon Khabib Nurmagomedov burst into tears after losing only fight aged 17

UFC icon Khabib Nurmagomedov burst into tears after losing his only bout aged 17.

Khabib retired from the octagon in 2020 with an unblemished record 29 victories from 29 fights as a professional.

The Russian is widely regarded as one of the greatest fighters in the sport's history, consistently beating the likes of Conor McGregor, Justin Gaethje and Dustin Poirier in a 12-year MMA career.

But Khabib, 33, didn't have things all his own way during his days as an amateur.

At the age of just 17, the Dagestan brawler was defeated in a Russian Combat Sambo final by Magomed Ibragimov.

Having wrestled from an early age, Khabib took up judo when he was 15 and learned Sambo, a Russian martial art, thanks to his late father Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov.

Despite being phenomenally talented in the art of Sambo, a teenage Khabib met his match in the form of Ibragimov, a future Olympic medalist.

In a bout that became heated at times, the two men even traded punches.

Unfortunately, it was not to be for Khabib as the referee signalled victory for Ibragimov – prompting the usually stoney-faced fighter to fall to the floor in tears.

Is Khabib the greatest fighter in MMA history? Let us know in the comments section.

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Ibragimov, who would also go on to medal at the 2018 Asian Games, showed real class in the aftermath of the fight and helped the crestfallen Khabib back to his feet to console him.

That defeat must have spurred on the Russian because he didn't taste defeat once during his 29-fight professional career in MMA.

Khabib retired from UFC at the age of 32 after the death of his father and coach Abdulmanap.

And the sport's president Dana White believes his early retirement has stopped him becoming the greatest fighter in MMA history.

"It’s so hard," White said during an episode of The Fight with Teddy Atlas when he was asked to pick the number one fighter of all-time.

"Chuck Liddell and Ronda Rousey are two people who really helped build this business, you know, super loyal.

"Right now, I think Kamaru Usman is the pound-for-pound best fighter in the world, what he’s accomplished in the past few years is amazing…

"I think Khabib Nurmagomedov probably could be called the greatest ever, who knows, if he’d stuck around longer.

"It was unfortunate, the passing of his father."

Khabib's father was diagnosed with coronavirus in the early part of the pandemic, and later passed away from heart complications.

After the star's tragic loss, his mother asked that he retire from the sport to spend more time with his family, a request he granted following his victory over Gaethje at UFC 254.

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