USMAN NURMAGOMEDOV is the 'killer' knockout machine tipped to be BETTER than his cousin Khabib.
The 23-year-old has won all of his 12 fights – with ten by stoppage – and was described as an overall talent specialising in Muay Thai and grappling.
Usman has the same coach, Javier Mendez and manager, Ali Abdelaziz, as unbeaten UFC lightweight champion Khabib, 32, who retired earlier this year.
And Abdelaziz has backed the rising star to surpass his cousin.
Earlier this year, he told Asian MMA: "The guy to really look out for right now that nobody knows about is Usman Nurmagomedov – Khabib's younger [cousin].
"He's 10-0, all finishes. He's an absolute killer.
"He's a Muay Thai specialist and he's Khabib's brother, you understand? If you have the same blood as Khabib, you have good wrestling.
"I'm telling you, he is actually a better version than Khabib. He is better than Khabib.
"I'm telling you, people should watch for him. He's an absolute killer.
"He's got it all. He's got the striking, he's got the grappling, he's got the jiu-jitsu, he's got the look, he's got the swagger."
Khabib emerged as one of the most fearsome champions in UFC history, equipped with devastating wrestling and improving striking.
But Usman has been hailed as a more well-rounded fighter – a mixture of Israel Adesanya, Jon Jones and his cousin.
Abdelaziz said: "He's knocking people out with elbows.
"He's the guy really to look out for. He's a phenom.
"He's a [combination] of Khabib, Jon Jones, Adesanya. He's a combo of all them."
Usman trains out of Dagestan as well as California with Khabib and the rest of their stable.
So far he has only fought on an independent circuit, but made headlines in his a win against Jerry Kvarnstrom.
With Khabib cageside, Usman dominated Kvarnstrom in Abu Dhabi and ended the fight in just 40 seconds after a knee dropped his opponent allowing him to ground and pound till the finish.
The lightweight contender has not yet been signed to the UFC, but cousin Khabib warned it is only a matter of time.
He said: “I think in a year, towards the end of 2021, we’ll sign Usman (to UFC), barring any serious injuries.
"We have big plans for him.”
Khabib joined the UFC in 2012, following 16 straights wins in Russia and Ukraine.
It took him another six years and 10 fights to capture gold, but after beating arch rival Conor McGregor in 2018, he emerged as one of the promotions leading stars.
Another of Khabib's cousins, Umar, was recently signed to the UFC.
But after the death of uncle Abdulmanap in July, Umar's debut for the promotion against Brit Nathaniel Wood on Fight Island was cancelled.
Like Khabib and Usman, the 24-year-old bantamweight is also undefeated.
But Abubakar Nurmagomedov, also a cousin of Khabib's, has not been so successful.
He lost his UFC debut against David Zawada last November, taking his record to 15-3-1.
Abubakar and Khabib's training partner Zubaira Tukhugov made headlines when they brawled with McGregor after Nurmagomedov's win at UFC 229.
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