UFC lightweight king Khabib Nurmagomedov was in attendance as the octagon hit Russia for UFC St. Petersburg on Saturday.
The event at Yubileyniy Palace in the north of Russia – the promotion’s second on the country – is being headlined by heavyweight veterans Alistair Overeem of the Netherlands and Russia’s Aleksei Oleinik.
READ MORE: UFC St. Petersburg: Heavyweight veterans Overeem and Oleinik face off in Russia
But the co-main event sees Nurmagomedov’s teammate and fellow Dagestani Islam Makhachev take on Arman Tsarukyan in a 155lbs match-up.
UFC lightweight king Nurmagomedov was seen dressed in a black flat cap as he sat among the crowd of around 7,000 in attendance.
The night got off to an explosive start when Russia’s Magomed Mustafaev scored a stunning spinning head kick KO win over Rafael Fisiev.
As the action progressed, Khabib joined the crowd as attention turned towards Makhachev’s bout against dangerous UFC debutant Tsarukyan.
Nurmagomedov would likely have been cornering Makhachev, were it not for his suspension from the Nevada State Athletic Commission for the mass melee following his submission win over Conor McGregor in Las Vegas in October.
Instead, Nurmagomedov appeared content to be seated cageside as the action went down.
‘The Eagle’ himself is expected to next land in octagon in September, potentially in Abu Dhabi, against interim lightweight champ Dustion Poirier, who recently outpointed Max Holloway at UFC 236.
On spotting their hero, fans in St. Petersburg let out sporadic chants of “Khabib, Khabib.”