If you spend any time on TikTok or have an interest in martial arts, you will have come across a video of Hasbulla Magomedov. Rising to fame as an international phenomenon, acknowledged by MMA stars and journalists across the world, Hasbulla has taken the internet by storm.
Who is Hasbulla?
Hasbulla Magomedov was born in Dagestan, Russia on July 7 2003 and is the son of a plumber. The 21-year-old is known for his babyface, high-pitched voice and his child-like height. Hasbulla suffers from Growth Hormone Deficiency (GHD), which is a distinctive kind of dwarfism, accounting for his unusual looks.
He also has a twin sister called Aminat Magomedov who suffers from the same condition. Studies show that those who suffer from GHD may have a decreased life expectancy and as a result the Dagestan native might die as young as 41 or live to be 81.
How he became famous
Despite being just 3 ft 4 inches in height and weighing 18 kg, Hasbulla became famous due to his larger-than-life personality. He started uploading clips onto Instagram and TikTok during the pandemic. His early posts showed his hot-headed temperament and martial arts training.
Hasbulla displayed his charisma and trash-talking skills during a pre-fight conference with Tajikistan singer Abdu Rozik. The midget has even called out the likes of the former UFC champion Conor McGregor.
With the help of his manager Asxab Tamaev, his popularity peaked in May 2021 and was suspended from Instagram in December 2021. Magomedov started another account under the username @hasbulla.hushetskiy and has 8.6 million followers!
Hasbulla earned the nickname, “Mini Khabib” after reenacting Khabib Nurmagomedov’s iconic UFC 229 weigh-in. The two have struck up a friendship and often appear in videos together. This close relationship and their somewhat familiar looks have prompted many to assume that the two are related but this is not the case.
Not surprisingly, Hasbulla’s fame has come with some backlash. His social media activities, as well as his MMA ventures, have been dismissed by many as cheap publicity stunts, based on insensitivity towards others with dwarfism. The backlash came from ordinary social media users and organizations alike. His performances and actions have been branded “unethical”.
The Head of the Russian Dwarf Athletic Association, Uliana Podpalnaya, commented on the planned MMA fight saying: “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, wrong, from my point of view.”
It has been pointed out that since the actual fight between Hasbulla and Rozik hasn’t happened yet, this comment might very well be true.
Despite the negativity, Hasbulla hasn’t stopped making waves on social media and in the MMA world. As a result of his online following, Hasbulla has an estimated net worth of $2 million. In January 2023, Hasbulla launched an NFT project on OpenSea, currently it has a floor price of 0.0058 ETH and has over 4,300 owners. The viral sensation also makes money through an online store, hasbulla.shop and sells air fresheners, cardboard cutouts and stickers.