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Khabib Nurmagomedov ranked No. 1 by Forbes for most successful Russian athletes

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov enjoyed a very successful 2018 and as a result he’s topped a pair of prestigious lists in his native Russia.

According to Forbes magazine, Nurmagomedov was ranked as the No. 1 most successful athlete in Russia for the past year after reportedly earning $11.5 million primarily from his fourth-round submission win over Conor McGregor last October.

Nurmagomedov also topped the list for the top 40 under 40 for show business and sports in Russia landing ahead of notable names such as NHL star Alexander Ovechkin.

After winning the lightweight title last April, Nurmagomedov engaged in a heated rivalry with McGregor that culminated in the biggest selling pay-per-view in UFC history with more than 2.4 million buys.

Nurmagomedov dominated the fight before finishing McGregor with a fourth round rear naked choke. His disclosed pay for the fight was $2 million but Nurmagomedov likely made a huge windfall of cash from pay-per-view profits once the show was over.

In the aftermath of that fight, Nurmagomedov actually leapt over the cage to go after one of McGregor’s teammates, which ultimately cost him a whopping $500,000 fine from the Nevada State Athletic Commission.

The good news for Nurmagomedov was in the wake of that victory, he inked a new multi-fight deal with the UFC that his manager Ali Abdel-Aziz declared made him “the highest-paid athlete” on the roster.

Nurmagomedov has also picked up several lucrative sponsorship and endorsement deals in recent years including Reebok as well as an energy drink based out of Russia.

The next time he will look to cash a big paycheck from fighting will come in September when Nurmagomedov meets interim lightweight champion Dustin Poirier in the main event at UFC 242 from Abu Dhabi.