Nurullo Aliev made his country Tajikistan proud by winning a UFC contract after his dominant display at Dana White’s Contender Series (DWCS).
MMA fans couldn’t help but notice the uncanny resemblance between the fighting style of lightweight legend and UFC modern wing Hall of Famer Khabib Nurmagomedov and the undefeated 22-year-old prospect.
Alliev dominated his opponent Josh Wick and emerged victorious with an impeccable first-round TKO finish. The Tajik national utilized his superior grappling skills to take down his opponent and landed vicious ground-and-pound until the referee stepped in to stop the fight.
MMA fans flocked under the comments section of an Instagram post where UFC President Dana White can be seen interacting with Nurullo Aliev.
One fan claimed that White probably cloned former lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov:
“Dana Cloned Khabib.”
Another fan hailed Aliev as a future star and used an amoji of an eagle, Nurmagomedov’s sobriquet:
“The new star UFC Nurullo 🇹🇯🦅 @nurullo_aliev.”
Others reckon that the UFC head honcho is happy to welcome a talented fighter like Aliev to the roster:
“Dana happy that Khabib came back.”
Some fans were dumfounded by the striking resemblance between Nurmagomedov and Aliev:
“Sounds like Khabib, like Khabib, looks like Khabib, fights like Khabib.”
Check out some of the best fan reactions below:
Nurullo Aliev speaks on becoming the first UFC fighter from Tajikistan
22-year-old Nurullo Aliev created history in DWCS when he became the first fighter from Tajikistan to win a coveted UFC contract. Aliev dominated Josh Wick with a TKO victory inside the first round and badgered the UFC President to schedule a quick return inside the octagon by next week.
Following the victory, Aliev spoke to the media and vowed that he would “smash everyone.” He also expressed immense pride that he’s filled with while representing his nation on the grand stage:
“It feels like a dream. I’m very young, I’m only 22 years old. I just made history. The first fighter from Tajikistan in the UFC. I just can’t describe it in words.”
“For the past two days, since I made weight, nobody was sleeping. Starting from young people to old people, it’s 7:00 AM in the morning in our country, people are celebrating. It’s crazy.”
Watch the post-fight presser below (Aliev interview starts at 20:20):