'RT if you're calling travel on the champ!' UFC troll Khabib for 'Dagestani basketball' match at new gym
It’s not often the UFC troll their champions and cash cows, but the organization couldn’t resists a dig at unbeaten lightweight titleholder Khabib Nurmagomedov’s version of basketball played at his newly opened gym.
Khabib opened a new state-of the-art gym along with his father Abdulmanap, whose name the school bears, in his native Makhachkala, Dagestan, something which he admited was a “dream come true”.
The ‘School of Combat’ is located in a converted former beer factory and is fitted with all the equipment needed for a school of rising combat sports stars in the Southern Russia’s Republic of Dagestan, which has produced many champions over the years.
That includes a cage, mats, punchbags, cardio machines and… a basketball court. That’s right, Khabib is a known lover of the sport and plays a game before training sessions when in to which he adds his own twist from the gyms of Dagestan to create – ‘rugball’.
The game combines elements of classic basketball but allows takedowns and running with the ball, similar to English game rugby, combining the two named to give it an original moniker.
Khabib posted an Instagram video of himself scoring a dubious basket, with the caption “I just love this game”.
UFC weren’t impressed with Khabib’s basketball game, calling him out for a ‘travel’ which goes against basketball rules of running while not dribbling the ball, tweeting: “RT if you’re calling a travel on the champ”. We’re not sure if mnay will take the UFC up on their kind offer.
Khabib is unlikely to care about the jibe. The last time UFC criticized his illegal sporting actions – when he vaulted the cage after his match with Conor McGregor – he simply posted a picture of himself wearing a wide grin.
The Russian has signed off on paperwork for an April 18 showdown with former lightweight interim champion Tony Ferguson at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, in what will be the fifth time the fight has been made.