The Russian Republic of Dagestan, situated in the turbulent North Caucasus region, is home to some of the world’s top wrestlers and MMA fighters — a modern day fight factory. It has molded nearly three dozen Olympic champions in freestyle wrestling and the current UFC lightweight undefeated champion, Khabib Nurmagomedov. We sent VICE correspondent Alzo Slade to the land of mountain warriors to train with some of Dagestan’s most feared coaches, spar with the elite fighters, and explore what role combat sports play in a predominantly Muslim republic with a history of extremism.
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