Dana White: “When Khabib Retired, Islam Would Come In and Be the Champion” – Makhachev and Nurmagomedov’s Prophecy Confessed by UFC CEO as Laid Down by Abdulmanap

Published 02/21/2024, 10:30 PM EST

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Dana White recently lauded Khabib Nurmagamedov’s father for his incredible vision that led to the rise of 2 UFC champions! Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov was the head coach of ‘Eagles MMA’ and an instrumental figure in the careers of his son, Khabib, and his teammate, Islam Makhachev. His passing away in 2020 was one of the main reasons behind ‘The Eagle’ choosing to relinquish the UFC lightweight title and retire from the sport after a win against Justin Gaethje at UFC 254.

In a recent conversation, the UFC CEO praised Khabib’s father for his “vision” and for fulfilling the plan that he had laid out for Khabib and Islam. He also called him, “one of the greatest coaches” the sport has ever seen as he revealed the incredible legacy left behind by the iconic figure in Russian MMA!

Dana White reveals the massive impact of Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov on MMA  


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Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov is known for ushering in a new wave of elite Dagestani fighters in MMA with the rise of his students like Khabib Nurmagomedov, Islam Makhachev and Usman Nurmagomedov, just to name a few.

As such, in a recent conversation on the ‘Games with Names’ podcast, UFC CEO Dana White revealed the influence Abdulmanap had on the careers of fighters from the region. He stated, “His dad was his trainer, growing up, trained a whole camp and everything else.”

The UFC boss also explained that Khabib’s father had a plan laid out for the team’s success as he revealed the ‘prophetic’ vision that became a reality, he stated, “And the dad had a vision that Khabib would be the champion, then when Khabib retired, Islam would come in and be the champion.”

His plan came to fruition as Islam Makhachev currently holds the UFC lightweight championship, and the UFC boss exclaimed, “… You want to talk about one of the greatest coaches in the history of the sport that’s never talked about, Khabib Nurmagomedov’s dad”

Abdulmanap’s passing in 2020 was a significant loss to the MMA community, but his legacy lives on through the achievements of his students. As Islam Makhachev cements his name in UFC history with his lightweight title reign, Abdulmanap’s contributions to the success of Dagestani fighters will always be recognized as evidenced by the statements by Dana White.

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And in the same conversation, the UFC boss also revealed the incredible gifts Khabib Nurmagomedov received after his iconic clash with Conor McGregor back in 2018!

‘The Eagle’ and the aftermath of UFC 229 brought to light by White 

Khabib Nurmagomedov’s victory at UFC 229 against Conor McGregor catapulted him to global stardom. As he navigated through the chaos after the fight, Russian President, Vladimir Putin, called to offer his congratulations! But according to UFC CEO Dana White, Nurmagomedov’s post-fight phone call with Putin wasn’t the end of the story.


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In the same conversation on ‘The Games with Names’ podcast, White revealed, “Putin gave him and his father, like, $20 million worth of property in Russia. Then he went into the Muslim territories where these guys are like, cars, money, gyms, whatever he wanted.”

White also attributed Nurmagomedov’s reluctance to return to MMA to financial security, comparing him to Conor McGregor, who enjoys a luxurious lifestyle. The UFC head honcho also hinted that Nurmagomedov’s decision to retire, influenced by a promise to his mother after his father’s death, may have prevented him from cementing his legacy as the greatest of all time (GOAT).


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Nevertheless, despite his retirement, Nurmagomedov’s impact on the sport and his status as one of its most revered figures remain undeniable!


Written by:

Dushyant Patni


One take at a time

Dushyant Patni is a UFC writer at EssentiallySports. Dushyant brings 8 years of professional writing experience to his coverage of MMA at ES. This literature graduate excels in the coverage of both MMA-related and off-topic subjects.
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Edited by:

Joyita Das