Former UFC Champ Khabib Nurmagomedov's Eagle FC Is Planning USA Expansion in 2022

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVNovember 29, 2021

Former UFC champion Khabib Nurmagomedov announces the launch of Seedorf Khabib Performance Club, a football school with a training methodology combining football and mixed martial arts (MMA), during a press conference in Dubai on November 1, 2021. (Photo by GIUSEPPE CACACE / AFP) (Photo by GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP via Getty Images)

Khabib Nurmagomedov is planning to bring his MMA promotion, Eagle FC, to the United States for an event in January 2022, per ESPN's Marc Raimondi.

The "very big" event, as described by Nurmagomedov, will take place in Miami with several stars already signed up for the competition.

"If you want to become big in MMA, you have to be in USA," the retired UFC star said. "For fighters, for promotion, you have to be in U.S. If you're not in U.S., you can never become No. 1 or best. It's almost impossible."

Nurmagomedov initially purchased the promotion in 2020 and rebranded it from Gorilla Fighting Championship to Eagle FC. They have run 15 events to this point, with 13 coming in Russia and the other two taking place in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.

The upcoming event will be the first of several in the United States, with another one likely planned for March in Miami. Khabib said he is looking to sign more than 50 fighters over the next year.

Nurmagomedov was one of the most successful MMA fighters of all time before retiring in October 2020.

The Russian went 29-0 in his professional career, winning the UFC lightweight title before defending it against Conor McGregor, Dustin Poirier and Justin Gaethje, winning each by submission.

Though just 33 years old, Khabib said he has no intention of returning to the Octagon and will instead focus on helping the next generation of competitors.

In addition to promoting Eagle FC, Nurmagomedov has been a successful coach leading multiple fighters over the past year.