Teammate reveals Khabib wanted to tear up $6M UFC contract out of loyalty

UFC icon Khabib Nurmagomedov has always prioritized loyalty and friendship above all else. His unwavering commitment to his teammates and friends is evident in his actions, even at the expense of significant personal gain. One striking example of this loyalty emerged when Khabib made a remarkable sacrifice to support his teammate, Zubaira Tukhugov.

In a recent interview with Aslanbek Badaev, Tukhugov revealed a remarkable act of generosity by Khabib. Despite Dana White’s reluctance to include Tukhugov in the UFC 242 card in Abu Dhabi, Khabib stepped in decisively.

He insisted on tearing up his own contract and giving up a reported $6 million to secure Tukhugov’s spot on the card.

Tukhugov stated: “Dana White said that they had no room for me on that card (Abu Dhabi card)….But Khabib was like ‘Ok, I’m going to rip this contract up now’. I will give my spot on the card to Zubaira.”

Tukhugov claims that Dana White refused to give him a spot on the UFC 242 program. But Khabib Nurmagomedov stepped up at that time, prepared to forfeit a reputed $6 million deal in order to let Tukhugov compete.

It is clear that Nurmagomedov meant it when he said that “loyalty is number one.” When it came to looking out for his friends, he wouldn’t even think twice about crossing UFC CEO Dana White.

While Khabib may have stepped away from the spotlight since his retirement, his legacy of loyalty continues to inspire. Despite no longer competing, he remains actively involved in supporting his teammates.

Shortly after retiring, Khabib Nurmagomedov worked as a coach for a brief period of time. In March 2021, Nurmagomedov declared his retirement.

His brief tenure as a coach following his retirement further underscores his commitment to nurturing and uplifting the next generation of competitors.

Though Khabib’s time as a coach may have been short-lived, his influence on his teammates and the MMA community at large stays on. At UFC 267, Nurmagomedov was positioned to support three of his colleagues, Tagir Ulanbekov, Zubaira Tukhugov, and Islam Makhachev.

The three trained in American Kickboxing Academy, and they competed and won in the same evening. Regretfully, Khabib’s time as a coach was not very extended. He made the decision to end his career in sports in the beginning of 2023.