WATCH: Here’s What Khabib Nurmagomedov is Planning to do During Retirement

Published 04/01/2021, 9:21 AM EDT


Former UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov was recently captured on tape by AKA coach Javier Mendez backstage at UFC 260. Khabib Nurmagomedov could be seen interacting with Referee Mark Smith before Abubakar Nurmagomedov’s fight. Chiefly, ‘The Eagle’ was present in Abubakar Nurmagomedov’s corner and spearheaded the welterweights camp against Jared Gordon.

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The video grab saw Khabib Nurmagomedov keenly observe Mark Smith’s pre-fight instructions before the walk-out. Fans of ‘The Eagle’ were happy to see Khabib Nurmagomedov take an active interest in the new role he’s assumed of a coach. The former champion continues to ask questions and clearly wants to learn the nuances of the fight sport.

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His keen interest in becoming a student of the game was heartwarming to see, especially after he ascended to the highest highs in MMA. Despite being undefeated at 29-0, Khabib Nurmagomedov has humbled himself to become an astute student once more. He recognizes that this is the best way to reach the pinnacle of coaching, much as his father did.

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The mauler from Dagestan retired back in October 2020 at UFC 254 after etching his third title defense against Justin Gaethje. The news came as a surprise to his fans, who expected a long and prosperous reign at the top. While the official relinquishing of the title came a few weeks ago, Nurmagomedov was sure of his decision to walk away.

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Ever since his final fight, Nurmagomedov has embraced his role as a coach to the next generation. He has cornered several fighters under the ‘Eagles MMA’ banner including Islam Makhachev, Umar Nurmagomedov, and Abubakar Nurmagomedov. The MMA community already expects that Khabib Nurmagomedov will talk away with ‘Coach of the Year’ honors.

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His father, Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov, laid down the foundation for what an exemplary MMA coach needs to be. Prior to his passing, Khabib Nurmagomedov’s father fulfilled the role his son is attempting to carry on. For the former lightweight champion, there will be no greater honor than to carry on his father’s mantle as a Head Coach.

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Darryl Pinto

1877 articles

Darryl Pinto is a senior MMA writer at EssentiallySports. He is currently pursuing his graduate degree in Mass Media (with a specialization in Journalism) out of Xavier’s College and has a year's experience in his current role. Darryl specializes in predictions, reporting, and covering UFC events live.

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