Former teammate praises Khabib’s approach to training: ‘He would be the guy mopping the mats’

Former Strikeforce middleweight champion Jake Shields offers a revealing look into the enduring humility of UFC legend Khabib Nurmagomedov.

Despite basking in sporting wins, enjoying celebrity status, and amassing substantial wealth, the former UFC lightweight champion remains remarkably humble. At 35, Nurmagomedov not only cultivated a massive and dedicated fan base but also achieved celebrity recognition towards the peak of his career.

Surprisingly, the accolades and fame never inflated Nurmagomedov’s ego. He continued to be a well-respected figure, playing a pivotal role in training cores both in California and Dagestan.

Shields shared training sessions with Nurmagomedov at the American Kickboxing Academy. Khabib revealed an exemplary act of humility – the MMA superstar voluntarily cleaned the mats after practice.

Shields recounted his experience on Twitter, stating: “When I would train with Khabib Nurmagomedov in San Jose he would often be the guy mopping the mats (this is usually down to my rookies) This was right before he won the title — but I’m pretty sure I also saw him moping in (Las) Vegas after he was already a champion. This sets a great example to his team that he’s not above them.”

Nurmagomedov’s peers and training partners universally commend his work ethic. Renowned as the hardest worker in the room, he garnered respect from many. This includes his former coach and head of AKA, Javier Mendes.

Addressing the impact of wealth on Nurmagomedov, Mendes acknowledged the change but emphasized its positive nature.

He stated: “Yes, he did change. He did change 100%. He became more generous… He became more generous, and a bit more kind to people. He was always kind but he became better with people. With more money, he became better.”

Despite lucrative offers from the UFC to entice him back, Nurmagomedov has remained unwavering in his retirement decision. In a surprising twist, Nurmagomedov turned down a staggering $40 million to make a UFC return. The MMA community continues to witness a champion who not only dominated in the octagon but also exemplifies humility and generosity beyond it.