1 December 2020 1808

Who was Khabib waiting for at today's training session? Valuable tips for Uzbek athletes or how was the press conference with the participation of the legendary fighter?

Today, the absolute world champion according to the UFC, the famous Russian fighter Khabib Nurmagomedov visited the National Olympic Committee of Uzbekistan. The famous athlete first visited the IOC museum, where he got acquainted with the glorious history of Uzbek sports and left his wishes in the book of honored guests.

After that, a press conference with interesting questions and answers was held with the participation of a high-ranking guest. It was attended by Khabib Nurmagomedov's personal trainer Javier Mendes, the leadership of the Ministry of Physical Culture and Sports and the IOC, famous athletes of our country and representatives of the media. The conference was held by the General Secretary of the Committee Oybek Kasimov.

First, IOC Chairman Rustam Shoabdurakhmanov welcomed the famous athlete on a visit to our country.

"We are very happy to see you in the National Olympic Committee. With iron discipline, you have achieved such results while pursuing your dreams and goals. You are the hero of many young people not only in your country, but also in Uzbekistan. Even in your last fight, many of our compatriots cheered and supported you and our athlete who took part in it. Our esteemed Head of State Shavkat Mirziyoyev also highly values sports. One of the 5 important initiatives put forward to increase the spirituality of young people and organize their leisure time is aimed at the development of physical culture and sports. As a result of the attention at the state level, we took 21st place among 206 countries at the Rio Olympics. In its place, mixed martial arts are also developing in our country. Your visit is of great importance for promoting a healthy lifestyle among our young people, " said Rustam Shoabdurakhmanov.

Also during the event, Khabib Nurmagomedov noted that he was very pleased with the attention paid to sports in Uzbekistan, in particular, to mixed martial arts, and expressed his warm words.

"I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude for the attention and support of the Uzbek fans. Even when I was fighting in the UAE, I knew they went straight and watched. Mixed martial arts are also developing intensively in your country. It is an honor for an athlete to defend the flag of his country at prestigious competitions. I will follow the performances of Uzbek fighters in the international arena. I think they are waiting for major victories. Your country has developed such martial arts as judo, wrestling, and boxing. I think that this will mark the beginning of future victories of Uzbek athletes. I especially want to note the contribution of Otabek Umarov to the sport of MMA in Uzbekistan, " the UFC champion said.

After that, a part of the questions and answers was held with the participation of journalists.

– What advice would you give to Uzbek athletes on proper preparation before major fights?

– The best way to prepare for the upcoming fight in mixed martial arts is to properly organize sparring fights. Of great importance is the availability of all the necessary additional equipment, the right choice of a sparring opponent. This will prevent negative aspects, such as the absence of injuries at the beginning of the upcoming fight. Also, in the realities that precede this, self-control is of paramount importance. There will be external pressure from the media and other parties before the big battles. It is very important to be able to choose the right path.

– Last year, our country hosted the GFC tournament. Are there any plans to organize more similar tournaments in the future?

- Of course, we have a big plan for this. A number of our plans are not being implemented due to the pandemic. Once again, I can say that Uzbekistan has a great potential for the development of mixed martial arts. A huge sports arena, government support and a number of other factors that any athlete dreams of fighting are enough. Of course, if the epidemiological situation improves, we will organize such parties for fans.

– How does this organization work to include MMA in the Olympic Games program?

– Of course, the inclusion of mixed martial arts in the Olympic Games is supported by the vast majority of representatives of this sport. We may be too late for Paris 2024. But there is movement to enter the 2028 Summer Olympics program in Los Angeles.

– How profitable is it for Uzbek athletes to organize meetings and exchange experience with foreign specialists?

- Cooperation with foreign specialists has always borne fruit. Training camps, if they are organized at a high level, will definitely show their results. Our gym is always open for athletes of Uzbekistan. Even now, a number of your compatriots are gaining experience there.

– What are your hobbies other than sports?

– I, like many people, follow football separately and try not to miss its interesting matches. I also have a few other personal interests.

- A question from the SAMBO players: you are a two-time world champion in combat sambo. What advice would you give to athletes involved in this sport?

- Combat sambo is the sport closest to mixed martial arts. Using my own example, I can say that this sport served as a springboard for my transition to MMA. 2 of our SAMBO wrestlers from Dagestan became world champions this year. First of all, in any case, training with strong opponents will bring great benefits. We take this opportunity to invite you to Dagestan.

- Khabib, I have a question for you, how important is discipline and the agenda for the representatives of the national team? (Ilias Iliadis, head coach of the Uzbekistan national judo team)

– I have a question for you, too. I was waiting for you at the Befita today. Why didn't you come? (laughs) As for your question, first, timely sleep is of paramount importance. And discipline comes to a goal in you. If you work hard towards your goal, you will be strictly disciplined. If you look frivolous, you'll have to skip training. You strive for the championship, you should strive only for this, without being distracted by other things. Do you set such a goal that when the injury comes, they will stumble. Bravely overcoming these things shows who you are.

– Which of the athletes of Uzbekistan do you follow?

– I specifically followed the participation of your boxers at the last Olympic Games and World Championships. Bahodir Jalolov at the World Championships in Yekaterinburg, did you like the participation of your guys in the lightweight division at the Olympics. In general, I know that there are many good athletes from Uzbekistan. New names will appear if favorable conditions are created for the athlete. I think your country has good opportunities in this regard. I believe that in the near future there will be even more famous athletes.

"You have strong athletes and coaches in taekwondo, judo and boxing. In addition, I also witnessed the support of the government. I am sure that if the right step is taken to move to MMA, then well-known UFC fighters will grow from Uzbekistan, " said coach Javier Mendes.

In conclusion, Khabib Nurmagomedov expressed his readiness to cooperate with athletes and specialists from Uzbekistan and wished our athletes good luck and victories.

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