UFC star Khabib urges cousin Umar to copy Mike Tyson and improve boxing skills as he gives him 4/5 rating for debut

KHABIB NURMAGOMEDOV has revealed he wants his cousin Umar to eventually emulate Mike Tyson inside the octagon.

Umar, 25, made his long-awaited UFC debut on Fight Island in January, scoring a stunning second-round submission victory over Sergey Morozov.

Before he choked Morozov out cold, the Dagestani wowed those in attendance at Etihad Arena and viewers back home with his array of kicks and back takes.

Khabib was equally as impressed with Umar's performance in his maiden octagon outing, which came on the nine-year anniversary of his own UFC debut.

But he wants his cousin, who boasts a 13-0 record, to develop a punching style that is equally as ferocious as his kicking ability.

He told Raptors MMA: “It was expected you know, Umar have very good kicks, he have very good kick.

"And his kick is much better than his boxing but I want his boxing to become good like his kick.

"Then he going to be like amazing because his kicks like very fast, very hard, like heavy you know. But he needs a little bit more, Tyson style.”


He added: “Between rounds, just I told him, ‘Hey, calm down, relax, take you time, don’t rush.

"You have to relax and do your job. He did well, like out of 5, I give him 4.”

Umar's head coach – American Kickboxing Academy's Javier Mendez – hailed his kicking ability in an exclusive interview with SunSport days before his debut.

Mendez said: "[He's got] great striking and great kicking.

"That they [fans] can expect. It's a whole different flair. A whole different flair.

"You can expect to see everything from him.

"But one thing that is going to be different is – Khabib's boxing has gotten on fairly well.

"I mean Khabib's boxing has gotten pretty good. Umar's kicking is phenomenal.

"So you can expect to see more kicking [from him]. He's a phenomenal kicker.

"He's great on the ground, he's got good boxing, but he's a phenomenal kicker.

"So that's one of the things you'll notice a difference in between him and Khabib. Umar can kick."

Veteran coach Mendez believes Umar will eventually follow in his cousin's footsteps and win UFC gold.

He said: "Umar is a different type of fighter than his cousin Khabib.

"But he is still going to do great and I feel he will win the title in three or four years."

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