Why does Khabib Nurmagomedov wear that hat? The answer before UFC 229


The wooly hat that Khabib Nurmagomedov wears in his walk to the octagon often is a subject of ridicule by UFC rivals and fans alike. But Nurmagomedov does it to honor his home.

Nurmagomedov, who fights out of San Jose, is from the Dagestan region of Russia, where the hat -- known as a papakha -- is traditionally worn. The hat is made from sheep’s skin and wool.

By the way, papakha is pronounced puh-pah-hah.

Whatever “The Eagle” wears in the octagon, he’s a formidable opponent, as Conor McGregor likely will find out Saturday at UFC 229 in Las Vegas. Nurmagomedov is 26-0 in his MMA career and owns the UFC lightweight championship belt that McGregor once held, although “The Notorious” definitely wants it back.

“Devastating KO,” McGregor said Wednesday in sharing his fight prediction, via Sherdog. “Too easy to hit. Too flat-footed. Too predictable. I’m gonna knock him clean out.”

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