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6 Nov, 2019 19:06

The Eagle & The GOAT - Khabib cheers on friend Ronaldo at Lokomotiv v Juventus game in Moscow

The Eagle & The GOAT - Khabib cheers on friend Ronaldo at Lokomotiv v Juventus game in Moscow

UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmaogomedov was spotted indulging in his second-favorite sport when he cheered on friend Cristiano Ronaldo at the Juventus and Lokomotiv Moscow Champions League match.

The promotion’s 155 lbs ruler is in town ahead of UFC Moscow - headlined by fellow Dagestani fighter Zabit Magomedshapalov - at the weekend, and was seen in the stands for the Group D game in the Russian capital.

Khabib and Ronaldo have enjoyed cordial meetings before, when the five-time world’s best player gifted Nurmagomedov a match worn signed shirt in 2018, when he player plied his trade at Real Madrid.  

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'The Eagle' enjoyed red carpet treatment and was shown on Loko’s big screen at the end of a half, although his appearance notedly elicited a fair share of boos along with cheers. 

In that first half, Ronaldo played a part in opening the scoring after four minutes. His free kick from the left flank was spilled through his own legs by Loko ‘keeper Guilherme, leaving Aaron Ramsey to poke home from millimeters.

Loko did level just nine minutes later, Aleksei Miranchuk, the scorer in Turin, headed across goal and against the post and then knocked the ball into an empty with Wojciech Szczęsny stranded. Both sides went into the break level.

It’s no secret Khabib is a huge football fan, which probably ranks somewhere between mixed martial arts and Dagestani rugby for the 31-year-old, and the Makhachkala-based fighter supports Los Blancos alongside his hometown club Anzhi Makhachkala. He also has an affinity for Turkish club Glatasaray.

The Dagestani man has made a habit of visiting Champions League matches, last month being present at a meeting between two of his favorite sides as Galatasaray hosted Real in Istanbul.

Khabib’s nemesis Conor McGregor was spotted in the stands watching Lokomotiv’s rivals CSKA Moscow in their match against Hungarian side Ferencvaros in the Europa League last month being photographed waving at fans with a red and blue scarf. 

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That came after the Irishman hosted a press conference in the city to announce his January 18 UFC comeback and plans for a Russian rematch with Khabib, whom he labeled a “jockstrap sniffer” and a “coward”. 

The two have something of a Russian footballing rivalry dating back to when McGregor was a guest of Russian president Vladimir Putin at the Russia 2018 World Cup final, while an invitation evaded home favorite Khabib.

However, it looks like the Russian has got the pick of the matches this time around.