“I Don’t Like This” – Khabib Nurmagomedov Says Fans Shouldn’t Be Nominating Him for the Year End Award

Published 10/27/2021, 8:44 AM EDT
MOSCOW, RUSSIA – AUGUST 14, 2020: UFC Lightweight Champion, Russian mixed martial artist Khabib Nurmagomedov gives a press conference at the StandArt Moscow Hotel. Mikhail Metzel/TASS (Photo by Mikhail MetzelTASS via Getty Images)


Khabib Nurmagomedov, by many, is considered one of the greatest mixed martial artists of all time. The former UFC lightweight champion retired last year after defeating Justin Gaethje at UFC 254. He was undefeated throughout his career and retired with a 29-0 record.

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Ever since stepping away from the sport as a fighter, ‘The Eagle’ has been helping his teammates in the gym. ‘Coach Khabib’ as they call him, has been working with several fighters, including Islam Makhachev and his cousin Usman Nurmagomedov.

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It looks like his abilities and skills as a fighter have helped him become a great coach as well. He is undefeated as a coach this year and recently cornered Usman in his fight at Bellator 269. Many people are also calling him the ‘Coach of the Year.’

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However, Nurmagomedov doesn’t like being called that. In an interview, he said, “Honestly, being the coach of the year, I don’t like this. Because I have name, I have hype, because of all these things, everybody calling me coach of the year. But, we have coach, his name is Javier Mendez. On his gym, since 2010 and 2020, every year here, someone champion… Last 10 years, he always have champions in his gym, American Kickboxing Academy… In my opinion, Javier Mendez is the coach of the year, not Khabib Nurmagomedov.”

He also said that he needs more time to become a coach like Mendez and is not on his level yet. ‘The Eagle’ added, “I need 30 more years to become like him, like experienced coach. Just one year ago I finished my career, and this year I beginning little bit coaching and cornering my guys. I don’t think I’m coach of the year. Coach of the year, 100 percent, my opinion, 2021. His name is Javier Mendez.”

Legacy of American Kickboxing Academy

American Kickboxing Academy (AKA), founded by Javier Mendez, has always been one of the best MMA academies in the world. They are known for producing some of the best talents and champions seen in MMA. Former UFC champions like Cain Velasquez, Daniel Cormier, Khabib Nurmagomedov, Luke Rockhold, BJ Penn, and many others have trained at the academy.

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However, for the first time in many years, no one from the academy holds UFC gold. Islam Makhachev, who trains closely with Mendez and Nurmagomedov, is tipped to be a UFC lightweight champion soon. According to Khabib, in 2022, he will bring the title to AKA.

Makhachev will next face Dan Hooker at UFC 267. Nurmagomedov, like many others, believes that if Makhachev wins, he should get a title shot next as he is on an eight-fight win streak.

WATCH THIS STORY – Islam Makhachev vs. Dan Hooker Stats: Record, Height, Reach, and More

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Whether he will win and get a title shot or not is something that everyone will know in some time. However, one thing is for sure, AKA’s tendency to produce great fighters is not going away anytime soon.

Do you agree with Khabib calling Javier Mendez the coach of the year? Do you see Islam beating Hooker? Let us know your thoughts.

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Arunaditya Aima

250 articles

Arunaditya is a UFC writer at EssentiallySports. Having completed his Post Graduate Diploma in Multimedia Journalism from IIJNM, Arunaditya aspires to be an important voice in the world of MMA and interview the likes of Jon Jones, Conor McGregor, Amanda Nunes, and other such superstars of the sport. He has followed the sport for over a decade and is an ardent fan of Georges St-Pierre, who he believes is the greatest of all time.

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