Umar Nurmagomedov has explained his mentor and long-time trainer partner Khabib Nurmagomedov’s decision to step away from MMA entirely.
Since retiring from fighting after his second round submission victory in his lightweight title fight against Justin Gaethje at UFC 254 in 2020, Khabib has been coaching the next generation of Dagestani prospects to become champions. The Russian stopped fighting specifically to spend more time with his family, especially after the death of his father, but his coaching commitments coupled with his acquisition of Eagle FC left him with no time to spend with his family.
Umar Nurmagomedov On Khabib
To that end, Umar told TSN’s Aaron Bronsteter (as transcribed by BJPenn.com), that Khabib has decided to step away from the spotlight, although he’ll be training with his teammates back home in Dagestan.
“I’m not surprised, we knew and we talked about this,” Umar said. “We talked, he gave me advice on the fight, cut weight. Everything the same he just stopped, too many flights… I think it will be the same, we will be training together in Dagestan. Nothing changes we (are) brothers. He will not travel too much and will take care of himself, his family, his mother. This is very hard, traveling too much, cornering everybody, this is not easy. That is why he made the decision and I’m happy for him… I don’t think he can stop, he will still control me and my brother, some other guys, but not the same (way), he doesn’t want to travel, doesn’t want to come to camps and stay with us for a couple of months.”
Earlier this week, it was revealed that Khabib won’t corner Islam Makhachev in his first lightweight title defence against Alex Volkanovski at UFC 284.
Umar Nurmagomedov will make his return to the Octagon against Raoni Barcelos at UFC Vegas 67 this weekend.
Will Team Khabib continue to dominate without their mentor by their side?