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Khabib Nurmagomedov flees Russia amid $3 million debt controversy

After being hit with a $3 million debt charge by the Russian tax authorities, Khabib Nurmagomedov has decided to flee the country.

Khabib last competed in the octagon almost four years ago when he choked Justin Gaethje unconscious at UFC 254. Since then, the Hall-of-Famer has ventured into different lines of work, but some of those businesses have left him in a tough position.

With the debt piling up and his bank accounts being seized, Khabib Nurmagomedov has left Russia. Not only has Khabib escaped his motherland, but he has also opted to change nationality and become a UAE citizen.

The concerning debt problem has left ‘The Eagle’ in a precarious position. Though, signs of his struggles have been on display for some time.

As he navigated through retirement, Khabib Nurmagomedov acquired his own MMA promotion named Eagle FC — formerly known as Gorilla FC. 

It seemed like EFC would be yet another destination for big name fighters to choose from once their UFC careers went awry. This was the case during the early stages of Khabib’s ownership, as he manages to sign Kevin Lee, Junior Dos Santos, and other well-known fighters to the roster.

Related: Khabib Nurmagomedov makes desperate plea to Donald Trump

After making their debut under the Eagle FC banner, many athletes became disgruntled with the lack of fight offers they were being given. This would eventually lead to the stars on the roster leaving for greener pastures.

The promotion hasn’t held an event since November 2023 — which was the last of just three fight cards showcased by EFC that year. This is likely due to the company having its accounts seized by the Russian authorities.

Khabib Nurmagomedov now allegedly finds himself residing in the United Arab Emirates. Unlike Russia, those with UAE citizenship don’t have to pay tax, meaning no matter how much money you bring in, it’s all yours.

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