UFC veteran Khabib Nurmagomedov, renowned as one of the greatest mixed martial artists, has seamlessly transitioned from dominating the octagon to shaping the next generation of fighters. Despite his retirement from professional competition in 2020, Nurmagomedov has embraced a coaching role, showcasing his commitment to the sport’s growth.
The 35-year-old Dagestani fighter has notably coached several athletes from his homeland, with UFC lightweight champion Islam Makhachev being a prominent figure in his roster. Nurmagomedov’s influence on Makhachev’s career has been pivotal, most notably during the title bout against Charles Oliveira in October 2022, where Makhachev secured victory via second-round submission.
Even in the absence of a formal corner role, Khabib Nurmagomedov actively participated in Makhachev’s training camp for the rematch against UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski. The collaborative effort proved successful, as Makhachev triumphed once again, defending his title with a first-round knockout against Volkanovski.
Nurmagomedov’s coaching approach mirrors the discipline instilled by his late father. A recent insight into his coaching style was captured by “Anatomy of a Fighter.” In a candid conversation with his students before Makhachev’s rematch, Khabib displayed his uncompromising commitment to training.
“Yesterday Movlid didn’t show up, but I told him, ‘You must be in the gym. Even if you’re not preparing.’ It doesn’t matter. Everyone should be in the gym, including me. Tired or not tired. You conduct evening training or not. You shouldn’t separate yourself from the team. Everyone should be in the gym. He was supposed to have at least three rounds of wrestling… and only then can you go home,” expressed Nurmagomedov.
Highlighting the intensity of the final training days before a fight, Khabib emphasized, “We all know what it’s like six days before a fight. Or do you think we weren’t here, we didn’t fight? Do you understand? In the evening, go and work the pads, stretch, and sauna. I understand everything. But don’t come up with your own schedule here.”
While fans express a longing for Khabib’s return to the octagon, he consistently shuts down any speculation. In interviews, he maintains a resolute stance, firmly stating that his competitive fighting days are definitively behind him.
Khabib Nurmagomedov’s coaching legacy continues to shape the future of Dagestani fighters, showcasing not only his technical expertise but also the unwavering discipline that defined his illustrious career.