Exactly how famous is Hasbulla, the viral sensation Khabib says will be a ‘billionaire’?
Makhachkala native and TikTok star Hasbulla Magomedov has become one of 2021's biggest viral sensations, earning a devoted online following and drawing attention from some of the fight game's biggest names – but how famous is he?
One would imagine that it would take a certain level of celebrity to be fawned over by the likes of Dana White, Joe Rogan, Logan Paul, Shaquille O'Neal, as well as Khabib Nurmagomedov and Islam Makhachev.
The Rock? No. Maybe Arnold Schwarzenegger? Try again. Conor McGregor? Definitely not.
Instead, the man who unites those names in fandom is a social media giant, even if his actual frame is considerably smaller.
Hasbulla – or Hasbik – has captivated audiences since his online videos first began picking up steam online around a year ago, when he posted a series of clips making fun of McGregor, or aping a Khabib press conference.
Today, just a year later, he has gathered a social media following in the millions and can legitimately call Nurmagomedov – himself one of the fight game's biggest superstars – a true friend.
But how exactly did the pint-size Hasbulla become such a revered figure within MMA?
At first, Hasbulla's ascent into social media stardom was a slow but steady one. Then a supposed beef with the similarly-sized Abdu Rozik catapulted Hasbulla to infamy.
The clip, which was a mock press conference allegedly promoting a 'fight' between the two, saw Hasbulla and Rozik trade insults before squaring off and going forehead-to-forehead, with the video quickly descending into the absurd when the pair began throwing punches and kicks at each other (all of which wildly missed their targets).
Most who viewed the clip took it how it was intended: a bit of light-hearted humor. Russia's Dwarf Athletic Association, however, didn't look on it quite so kindly and moaned that the clip was "unethical".
While some looked down their nose at the video, others were enthralled.
UFC fighter Darren Till declared online that he would "pay good money to watch this", while Russian star Petr Yan also noted that he found the clip incredibly entertaining.
His fame didn't stop there. Dana White has also jumped on the Hasbulla Express and recently revealed that a video the UFC president posted of him was the most successful clip he has uploaded to Instagram.
Can’t believe I dropped my hands around this guy! I deserved it pic.twitter.com/9wnwGAPEba— Daniel Cormier (@dc_mma) October 30, 2021
"You know I posted that video of him saying, 'Dana, I'm coming to UFC Abu Dhabi,' and then I said, 'I'm on the plane, can't wait to meet you in Abu Dhabi?'
"On Instagram, I have 6.7 million followers, right? 6.4 million people watched that video on Instagram. It's the biggest thing that I've ever posted. It's insane," said White after inviting Hasbulla to be guest of honor at UFC 267 in Abu Dhabi.
White flatly refused to deny that he would host the Hasbulla vs. Rozik fight inside the UFC octagon.
get me to hasbulla— Logan Paul (@LoganPaul) October 3, 2021
Hasbulla at Khabib’s Eagle FC this past week it. He said fighting Abdu Rozik would bring shame to him. Also calls Rozik a “bum”. With English subtitles. pic.twitter.com/CaT1tJnwHQ— FightOracle ™ (@fightoracle) December 13, 2021
"I love the kid. Is there more than a zero percent chance [that he fights in the UFC]? Yes," White teased.
Like any famous figure in the fight game, Hasbulla hasn't always managed to stay clear of controversy.
Earlier this month, rumors emerged that he has been blocked by Instagram for allegedly making death threats against a woman on the social media platform after an unnamed woman was said to have posted images of his sister.
Hasbulla is in the lab and will finally put an end to Covid pic.twitter.com/z85KSqSTlP— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) December 15, 2021
“I will not leave this girl alive until she apologizes to the whole of Instagram, because she filmed a video of my sister and posted it for the entire Instagram,” Hasbulla allegedly wrote.
Scandals aside, Hasbulla's great pal Khabib predicts nothing but success in his his future – even saying that he could go on to earn a great fortune as a result of his social media clout.
But the former UFC champ says that he isn't keen to see him follow in his footsteps in the cage.
“Honestly, I don’t want to make this fight," Khabib told Red Corner MMA of the potential showdown with Rozik.
"I don’t support this idea. I don’t think this is a good idea. They’re both big names, they can create some good things if they become friends. If I had a choice, I’m going to make them friends.
“Maybe do some good charity things [together], they can become ambassadors for charity funds… but I don’t want to see this fight. We have enough fighting around the world. Peace is better than war.
“He has to go to the US; all the big sports stars know him there, he’s very popular," Khabib added.
"He has to move for a couple of years to the US and become, maybe, a billionaire. Minimum, he can become a millionaire."
"The WWE, wrestling, also wants him to come to them somehow," said the former UFC champion, according to Championat. "They want to pay him some big money to get him into the ring. He’s immensely popular abroad."
Hasbulla has gone from social media to obscurity to superstardom in just a year. In 12 months' time we might just be looking at global domination.