Russian icon Khabib Nurmagomedov has shown his admiration for Turkish chef superstar Burak Ozdemir, repeating the famous “send me location” line he once said to UFC boss Dana White before paying tribute to an elder of his village.
One of the few people in the world with an Instagram following comparable to Nurmagomedov’s, Ozdemir – known as CZN Burak – regularly makes his fanbase of almost 18 million salivate by cooking traditional recipes and presenting them personally online.
The head of the Hatay Medeniyetler Sofrasi chain of restaurants often cooks feasts for his local Muslim community, and could conceivably count on Nurmagomedov as an even more ardent fan now that the former champion no longer has to worry about strict dieting for upcoming contests.
Sharing a post in which Ozdemir posed with the Crown Prince of Dubai, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Nurmagomedov cheekily joked “send me location” – a reference to his wrangles with the UFC when he was desperately trying to rearrange a fight with former rival Tony Ferguson during the early days of the pandemic.
While that appointment may have been curtailed by travel impracticalities, Nurmagomedov is familiar with Dubai, having visited the nearby emirate of Abu Dhabi to beat Justin Gaethje in October in his retirement fight.
For now, the ex-lightweight king remains in his home village in Dagestan, receiving praise from Ozdemir after sharing a blessing with the eldest member of the local population.
“I stopped by to visit the oldest resident of our village,” he told his following of more than 26.4 million, sitting next to the 92-year-old and adding that even the smallest good deed was worthwhile.
Nurmagomedov sat for a cheery snap with his uncle, Abdulnasir, the previous day while appearing to sip from a glass of tea.
“It is always interesting with him,” said Nurmagomedov. “May Allah take care of you, uncle.”
Ozdemir offered a series of hearts in response to the photo, while the likes of MMA fighter Murad Machaev and football legend David Beckham also showed their approval.