Who Will Coach Islam Makhachev After Khabib Nurmagomedov’s Retirement From All of MMA?

Published 01/08/2023, 4:41 AM EST

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Khabib Nurmagomedov is an immense personality in the world of MMA. ‘The Eagle’ has cemented his legacy as one of the most dominant champions in the world. With an undefeated record, the man from Dagestan has also placed himself as one of the GOATs of the sport. Moreover, he has also inspired many fighters of the generation to take up the sport. Furthermore, the UFC Hall of Famer has supported his childhood friend, Islam Makhachev during his endeavors in the sport. Nurmagomedov has helped Makhachev capture the UFC lightweight championship, as he was at his corner throughout his journey. But now, a story has emerged that Khabib Nurmagomedov might have returned from the sport altogether.

Has Khabib Nurmagomedov retired from MMA?

Khabib Nurmagomedov retired as a fighter in 2020 after his fight against Justin Gaethje. Furthermore, the Dagestani started his career as a fighter for his compatriots. He has an impeccable record as a coach, too.


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Recently, the ‘Eagle’ posted on Instagram that he might be leaving the sport as a coach, too. This news has also been confirmed by his co-coach Javier Mendez of American Kickboxing Academy. Both Nurmagomedov and Mendez won co-coach of the year for 2022.


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Nurmagomedov posted an image of his team with his team. The former lightweight champion captioned, “The year certainly turned out to be very busy and successful. Take care of yourself, brothers. I hope my decision is only for the best, a big hug to you all. Thank you, you were a big reason for my success in sports.”


Mendez explained Nurmagomedov’s reason for retiring from the sport owing to his family. “He just doesn’t want to miss being a father,” Mendez said in an interview with Yahoo Sport. Furthermore, Makhachev’s coach Javier Mendez added, “He talked to me about three weeks ago and told me of his plan and said he planned to talk to the team and inform them of his decision. He’s doing this for the right reasons. He’s a family man and he simply wants to spend more time with his family.” It is also important to be noted that Nurmagomedov has two sons and a daughter.

Mendez’s statements pretty much confirm that we might have seen the last of Khabib Nurmagomedov’s venture as a coach. Furthermore, it begs to be asked given the relationship of Nurmagomedov with Islam Makhachev whether he will corner Islam Makhachev against Alexander Volkanovski.

Who will be in the Islam Makhachev corner at UFC 284?

It looks like Khabib Nurmagomedov will not be cornering his friend Makhachev. Given his statements and his being a ‘man of his word’, it is highly unlikely that Nurmagomedov will be in Makhachev’s corner.

American Kickboxing Academy coach Javier Mendez will probably corner Islam Makhachev. It will be a daunting task to face Alex Volkanovski without Nurmagomedov in his corner. But his confidence will still be up regardless of his corner. However, Nurmagomedov will be missed during his fights as he provides much-needed support to him.

How will Islam Makhachev respond to Khabib Nurmagomedov’s absence against Alexander Volkanovski?

Makhachev has a much higher natural weight than 155 pounds. So naturally, the Dagestani has a lot of trouble cutting to his natural weight. However, it is nothing for the Dagestani camp, as Nurmagomedov faced similar issues.

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‘The Eagle’ has always helped Makhachev in his weight cut. For example, Nurmagomedov helped the current lightweight champion during his weight cut against Thiago Moises at UFC Vegas 31.


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Nurmagomedov also helped Makhachev during his first-round win against Dan Hooker. ‘The Eagle’ guided Makhachev towards a kimura submission against Hooker.


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It will be interesting to see what happens at UFC 284. Will Khabib Nurmagomedov return for one last time for Makhachev?

Watch This Story: Five MMA Rising Prospects That Train Under Khabib Nurmagomedov


Written by:

Faizan Mirza


One take at a time

Faizan Mirza is a UFC Writer at Essentially Sports. He has had a keen eye on the UFC since 2015 and is a fan of Conor McGregor because of his attitude and charisma. Faizan had been following McGregor's ascent in the sport.
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Edited by:

Yeswanth Praveen