UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov may add another trophy to his collection after the undefeated Dagestani was shortlisted for the BBC’s annual World Sport Star 2020 award.
Less than two months since his title defense against Justin Gaethje in Abu Dhabi in late October and his subsequent retirement announcement, Nurmagomedov’s record performance in the UFC cage has 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.
Commenting on Nurmagomedov’s impact on the sporting world this year, the BBC wrote: “The UFC lightweight champion expanded his perfect professional record to 29 wins with an emotional win over interim champion Justin Gaethje. The Russian, considered by some to be the greatest MMA Fighter is regarded of all time, fought just months after the death of his father, coach and mentor Abdulmanap and announced his retirement right after the win. “
A public vote to determine the winner will open on December 15, before the results are announced at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year ceremony on Sunday December 20.
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Last year’s award was won by the Kenyan long-distance runner Eliud Kipchoge. Previous winners also included Roger Federer, Usain Bolt, and Nurmagomedov’s close friend Cristiano Ronaldo.
The names mentioned above on this year’s shortlist include soccer player Wendie Renard and Swedish pole vaulter Armand Duplantis.