UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov may be about to add another trophy to his collection after the undefeated Dagestan native was included in the six person shortlist for the BBC’s annual World Sport Star 2020 Award.
Less than two months since his title defence against Justin Gaethje in Abu Dhabi in late October – and his subsequent retirement announcement – Nurmagomedov’s record-breaking accomplishments in the UFC cage have been recognized by the British broadcaster.
Khabib makes up one-sixth of the list alongside international stars like LeBron James, golf superstar Dustin Johnson and Irish boxing sensation Katie Taylor.
Writing of Nurmagomedov’s impact on the sporting world this year, the BBC noted: “The UFC lightweight champion extended his perfect professional record to 29 wins with an emotional victory over interim champion Justin Gaethje. The Russian, considered by some to be the greatest MMA fighter of all time, fought just months after the death of his father, coach and mentor Abdulmanap, and announced his retirement straight after victory.”
A public vote to determine the winner will open on December 15 ahead of the results being announced at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year ceremony on Sunday, December 20.
Last year’s award was won by Kenyan long-distance runner Eliud Kipchoge, with previous winners also including Roger Federer, Usain Bolt and Nurmagomedov’s close friend, Cristiano Ronaldo.
Joining the aforementioned names on this year’s shortlist are football player Wendie Renard and Swedish pole vaulter Armand Duplantis.