Rustam Khabilov had a big debut for the UFC this past weekend, scoring an impressive KO win by way of a German Suplex less than halfway into the first round.
The rarely-seen maneuver is a trademark of the Sambo specialist’s and it is the second time he has stopped an opponent with it. The first was back in 2009 during a Russian event, as seen here:
It was a literally jaw-dropping finish and understandably there were concerns for the neck and back of the recipient, fellow UFC debutant Vinc Pichel. But that was from the fans only - as you can see from his tweet, Khabilov doesn’t consider it his problem.
Khabilov is 26 and now sports a 15-1 record. He came into the UFC from Asian promotion ONE FC and has also competed for M-1 and ProFC, the two top Russian shows.
A former member of Legion Sports Club in Russia, which has produced notable fighters such as Magomed Shikhshabekov (who would have been a Strikeforce fighter had it not been for visa issues), Khabilov is now based in New Mexico and trains at Jackson’s MMA.
His emergence into the spotlight this week hasn’t been all good news however, as it brought to light a video of him shot several years ago in a Russian fast-food restaurant when he throws a drink over a young girl for the amusement of his friends.
He hasn’t commented on the video but it has been on all the major MMA forums and has done him no favors in PR terms.