Khabib Nurmagomedov is one of the most recognisable names and faces in the world of UFC, with the Russian retiring in 2020 with an unblemished 29-0 record to his name.
Many consider him to be the greatest fighter of all time, with the likes of Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier seen off en route to cementing a standing as the pound-for-pound king in mixed martial arts.
Khabib is, however, a big fan of sports staged outside of the Octagon and has become a regular at football venues around the world. Which team does he support? Goal brings you all the details.
Which football team does Khabib Nurmagomedov support?
Khabib was born in a small town in the Russian region of Dagestan and moved to Makhachkala while still a child.
It was there that he picked up a passion for football and became a loyal follower of an Anzhi side that have seen the likes of Roberto Carlos, Willian and Samuel Eto’o pass through their ranks.
Outside of his homeland, it is difficult to determine where Khabib’s allegiances lie.
He has admitted to BT Sport in the past of being “a big fan of Real Madrid” and claimed to watch a lot of Liverpool matches in the Champions League after being taken in by the Reds’ stunning comeback win over AC Milan in 2005 – while also working with Virgil van Dijk during the Dutchman’s recovery from a serious knee injury.
More recently, he has been splitting his time between arch-rivals on opposing sides of a fierce north-west divide.
Khabib was in attendance for Manchester United’s 1-1 draw with Everton on October 2, 2021, and made the most of an opportunity to rub shoulders with legendary former Red Devils boss Sir Alex Ferguson.
He posted on Instagram: "It’s a great honour to visit this legendary stadium, by invitation of the legendary football club @manchesterunited Thanks for warm welcome.
"I hope @cristiano and @davidbeckham wouldn’t mind that I got number 7.
"I’m not going to take a loss in this T-shirt, cause I will hang it on the wall in the frame, at most visible place in my house.”
A day later and Khabib was at Anfield for Liverpool’s heavyweight Premier League showdown with Manchester City, and his colours were now nailed to a blue mast.
He said on social media: "It was amazing atmosphere today, but the game was even better. Today I was rooting for @mancity. I just love this sport."
Does Khabib Nurmagomedov play football?
While Khabib reached the pinnacle of his profession as an MMA fighter, he has stated that football will always be his “first love”.
As he is still only 32 years of age, there was talk in August 2021 of a contract being agreed at Russian side Legion Dynamo.
Khabib was quick to rubbish those reports, but he has conceded in a Facebook Q&A session that he would be open to offers.
He said: "A lot of football clubs, they make me an offer. But I have to become a little bit more in football shape because football shape is a little bit different than MMA.
"When you have to fight in MMA, when we have to play in football, this is two different (sports).
"But if some clubs, they make me an offer, like, they make me (interested), I’m gonna accept this. Because this is my childhood dream. I love football. I have followed football since when I was kid, when I was child. This is my first love.
"Football is on another level. MMA, I like MMA. I like fighting, I like competition with people, with the best fighters in the world. But football, for me, is [the] best sport."
Are Cristiano Ronaldo & Khabib Nurmagomedov friends?
Khabib’s rise to the top of the UFC rankings saw his profile soar, with celebrity status allowing him to mix with the rich and famous in social circles.
Among those that he has struck up a close bond with is five-time Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo.
Khabib claimed to be aware that the Portuguese was heading back to Manchester United during the summer of 2021, a month before official news broke of Juventus sanctioning a sale.
The pair remain in regular contact and have shared a number of selfies together down the years.