If you’re an MMA enthusiast, or your TikTok account has been curated for MMA content, you must have come across the fighter and social media personality, Hasbulla Magomedov.
Known for his smaller stature, high-pitched voice, and large personality, Magomedov has made a name for himself on the social media platforms Instagram and TikTok, and gained a ton of fans along the way. The 19-year-old came to light on social media during the COVID-19 lockdown in 2020, showing off his headstrong personality and hotheadedness.
His social media later evolved to a mix of pranks, and the display of his boxing, martial arts, and wrestling training, which made him a viral sensation, and has earned him over two million followers on Instagram.
Hasbulla was born in Makhachkala, Dagestan, Russia in 2003, and stands at 102cm (three-foot four inches). He was born with Growth Hormone Deficiency (GHD) which is a kind of dwarfism, and the reason for his short height and childlike physical features, despite his age. Regardless, the larger-than-life star has made it his goal to live life to the fullest and to become a fighter. His Instagram is filled with glamorous photos of large cars and trips to Dubai.
Magomedov’s popularity grew significantly when he reenacted the popular UFC fighter, Khabib Nurmagomedov’s 229 weigh-in and posted it on his social media accounts. This earned him the nickname “Mini Khabib” and a friendship with the fighter, and the two have been seen together in many videos and posts online. Due to their somewhat familiar looks, fans usually assume that they may be related, but the two are not.
With social media accounts full of videos of him bringing down fighters double his size, Magomedov has shown that he is quite serious about his MMA goals. He has also seen an increase in popularity due to his ongoing rift with Dubai-based Tajikistan boxer and celebrity, Abdu Rozik, who also suffers from GHD. The two have exchanged words on several occasions, and even exchanged blows last year at a post-fight press conference. The social media star also has a long list of fighters he has called out, including Henry Cejudo, Logan Paul, and most famously, UFC champion Conor McGregor, whom he once challenged to a fight, claiming he wanted to “punish” the Irishman because he “talks too much.”
With his popularity came the backlash from other social media users and even organizations. His actions have been dismissed by many as publicity stunts and insensitive to other people suffering from GHD. In 2021, as reported by Sport Bible, the Head of the Russian Dwarf Athletic Association, Uliana Podpalnaya commented on the Magomedov and Rozik pre-fight press conference.
“It’s not even like a show fight – they get paid a lot of money and it’s a show to make people laugh. There’s nothing serious about this, this isn’t sport. This is unethical and wrong, from my point of view. It seems to be that only on the one hand it can be correct and beautiful – if martial arts among small people are made a Paralympic sport.”
What is Hasbulla up to now?
In his first-ever sit-down interview with Barstool Sports on their Sundae Conversation segment, Magomedov revealed his goal to be the Minister of Internal Affairs for Dagestan, and stated his intentions and plans if he succeeds. He also spoke about his feud with Rozik, calling out the boxer for shying away from fights.
“When I’m in Dubai, his home, he is nowhere to be found. But when I go back to Dagestan he starts talking that talk. And when we actually square up in person, he freezes. He literally can’t move. But next time I see him, it’s on sight.”
With his popularity on the rise, fights scheduled, and a rumored net worth of $200,000, fans are looking forward to what more Magomedov can bring to the table, as well as the ring.