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Khabib ‘a little bit scared’ of champion life: ‘I don’t want to change’

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UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov has some apprehensions about being a champion, particularly with the fame that comes with it.

As an undefeated UFC fighter, Khabib Nurmagomedov is already a star in the combat sports world. But now that he is the undisputed lightweight champion, Khabib’s fame is expected to skyrocket even further.

“The Eagle” recognizes the recognition that comes with being a world champion, which is actually a concern for him.

“I’m a little bit worried about this belt,” Khabib said during a post-fight media scrum (transcript via MMAjunkie). “Sometimes you think, ‘You’re UFC champion (and) a lot of stuff.’ But I’m a little bit scared about this. I don’t want to change. I want to be same Khabib, like, before belt and after the belt. This is not about me. This is about all people around me.”

As the man at the top of the 155-pound division, Khabib plans to stay active and defend his title for as long as he can. But at the same time, he does not intend to let the fame and fortune that goes along with being a champion get to him.

“With the belt comes a lot of attention, a lot of money – crazy stuff, a lot of crazy stuff,” the 29-year-old Dagestani fighter said. “I don’t want this belt to change me. I want to stay focused. Next month is Ramadan coming. After Ramadan, I want to begin training, come back this year and defend this title.”

After winning over Al Iaquinta via unanimous decision at UFC 223 in Brooklyn on Saturday, Khabib’s record now improves to 26-0 (with 16 wins by stoppage).

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