UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov drew comparisons with Batman villain Bane as the Russian star arrived on Fight Island in a wrap-around black mask.
Khabib puts his title and undefeated record on the line when he faces hard-hitting American Justin Gaethje in Abu Dhabi at UFC 254 this weekend, and has now arrived at the Yas Island hotel base where fighters must stay in the immediate period leading up to bouts.
The Dagestani 155lbs king was seen arriving at the W hotel in a black mask made by UFC partner 02 Industries, which retails at upwards of $225.
Khabib also promoted the respirator to his 21.9 million Instagram followers, sharing a hooded image of himself along with a link to the ‘Protect the Fighter’ website where buyers can get their hands on the device.
Khabib’s appearance drew inevitable comparisons to the masked Batman baddie Bane, played with gravel-voiced aplomb by Tom Hardy in the Christopher Nolan movies.
“That’s a pwerful mask,” read one reply while MMA fighter Murad Machaev simply wrote: “Bane!”
“It doesn’t matter who we are. What matters is our plan,” wrote another, quoting one of Bane’s more memorable lines.
Upon his arrival Khabib also bumped into friend and American Kickboxing Academy teammate Daniel Cormier, who is working with the UFC as a pundit.
“I’m gonna send you my room [number],” Khabib was heard telling the retired former two-weight champ as the pair planned a catch-up.
While Bane ultimately got his comeuppance against Christian Bale’s Batman, Khabib fans will be hoping the same isn’t true for their hero against Gaethje this weekend.