Five years before Khabib became UFC lightweight champion, he was working his way up the ladder, making a name for himself and systematically destroying everyone he stepped into the cage with.
Prior to beating Al Iaquinta for the belt, he would put on a clinic of how to slowly break down an opponent on the mat in seven straight wins.
Of these seven fights, Khabib won two by KO/TKO, four by unanimous decision and one by submission in one of the most dominant runs to a championship of all time.
However, the first of these with Tavares arguably takes the cake over all of these particular bouts.
In a recent post by AbhorrentAtrocity on Reddit from r/ufc captioned: “Seventeen more elbows and I’m gonna have to start thinking of doing something,” shows The Eagle’s brutality in said bout.
In said clip, Khabib smashes Tavares with 13 unanswered elbows and the caption is basically talking about how the official failed to step in and stop the fight earlier than it should have.
Eventually, Khabib would be victorious over Tavares via KO due to a combo of punches and a crazy amount of impactful elbows.
The even crazier thing is that Khabib has both of Tavares’ arms locked up in his legs, which means that he couldn’t escape even if he wanted to and had no way of defending himself.
This is just a testament to just how clever The Eagle was, with these smarts being a staple of his even later into his undefeated 29-0 career.
It can definitely be said that the fight should’ve been stopped earlier into the onslaught, as the Brazilian failed to answer back to any of the Russian’s devastating blows.
After his clash with Tavares, Khabib went undefeated for the next 10 bouts and would hold the UFC lightweight strap for three years from 2018 to 2021, the longest reign of all time in the division.
He would later vacate the title upon his retirement and was inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame as one of the most decorated fighters in the history of the sport.