Former undisputed lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov shifted from his coaching role in the past year. However, he is poised to join teammate Islam Makhachev’s training camp for the final two weeks.
Khabib aims to fine-tune the current champion’s preparation for his highly anticipated rematch title defense against Charles Oliveira at UFC 294.
Nurmagomedov played a pivotal role in guiding his training partner and close friend Makhachev to the vacant lightweight throne last October. This achievement was marked by Makhachev’s impressive second-round arm-triangle submission victory over the former champion, Oliveira.
Nurmagomedov decided not to accompany Makhachev for his February title defense against Alexander Volkanovski at UFC 284. He retired from coaching as well, distancing himself from the sport he retired from in 2020.
In preparation for Makhachev’s upcoming title defense against the formidable Sao Paulo finisher Oliveira at UFC 294, Nurmagomedov’s return to the corner has been confirmed. He will be traveling to the Middle East to provide support in the final stages of Makhachev’s training camp.
In an interview with ESPN MMA, Islam Makhachev shed light on Nurmagomedov’s role.
He stated: “He (Khabib Nurmagomedov) will come tomorrow, train with us in the camp. He’s not going to be my corner coach, but he will be here to help… we come here, like 40 guys, the whole team. I don’t know fight day where he’s going to be, but next two weeks, he’s gonna be here.”
Reflecting on their training history, Makhachev expressed: “I miss the time when we were training together, when he (Khabib Nurmagomedov) had fight, when I had fight.”
“But when he become coach like two years, one year ago, he pressure us very hard, you know? We did drills, almost ten rounds sparring. And after all this work, after one and a half hours, he says, ‘Okay, now five rounds grappling.’”
As UFC 294 approaches, the combined expertise and dedication of these two champions promise an electrifying showdown in the octagon.