Following Islam Makhachev’s winning effort at UFC 280 this past weekend, Khabib Nurmagomedov made a point of tying the UFC lightweight belt around the waist of his buddy and comrade. Nurmagomedov, who is now Makhachev’s coach, explained why he did it.
During his interview with ESPN MMA, Nurmagomedov said that he never lost the championship in the first place and that he requested UFC president Dana White if he could hand it to Makhachev:
“I told Dana, ‘Brother, I have to give him this belt because I didn’t lose belt because I know I’m the champion till this day before Islam become champion.’ I come to Dana, ‘Brother, I have to put.’ He said, ‘No problem, take, this is yours, this is Dagestani belt.’ He gave me, I put on, it’s crazy. This is very, very big history, our team and all MMA.”
After beating former interim champion Justin Gaethje to retain his championship in 2020, Nurmagomedov announced his retirement from mixed martial arts. He eventually gave up the belt, which Charles Oliveira later claimed. Then he was defeated by Islam Makhachev at the Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi over the weekend.
Following Islam Makhachev’s victory at UFC 280, Khamzat Chimaev got into a fight with Khabib Nurmagomedov’s team. He fought with Khabib’s cousin Abubakar Nurmagomedov, at the cageside.
Chimaev and Abubakar were seen interacting during Makhachev’s post-fight interview until security had to separate them. Khabib has now reportedly put an end to the conflict between Chimaev and certain Nurmagomedov camp members. Even more recently, they were seen eating together.
The former lightweight champion addressed the situation in a video that was later posted online, saying that everything is now behind them:
“What happened yesterday does not show us well. Neither me nor Khamzat nor Abubakar. To tell the truth, we are tired of this nonsense. Here we are gathered as brothers, talked to each other, and we apologized to each other, hugged and inshallah I hope that in the future that we will only gather and fight for good reasons.”