Former UFC undefeated and undisputed lightweight champion and pound-for-pound king Khabib Nurmagomedov retired in October 2020. However, he has not stepped away from the fight business. The Russian wrestler, who retired with a legendary 29-0 MMA record, has transitioned well into his new role as a coach.
Khabib Nurmagomedov was initially spotted cornering his childhood friend Islam Makhachev for the latter's UFC fights. But soon, 'The Eagle' decided that he might try his hand at coaching. Nurmagomedov took up the responsibility of guiding and mentoring fellow athletes from Dagestan, including his brothers.
It seemed like a casual one-off role at the start for the 33-year-old Sambo specialist. But it turns out that Nurmagomedov, who is already being labeled 'Coach of the Year', is in it for the long haul. In this article, we look at five reasons why the hype behind Khabib Nurmagomedov being a coach is real.
#5. Khabib Nurmagomedov is already being considered for Coach of the Year
Khabib Nurmagomedov quit fighting and started cornering fighters from his team just a little over a year ago. Following huge success, however, he is being considered a running candidate for Coach of the Year for 2021 by sections of MMA media and experts.
And while 'The Eagle' believes all of it is hype, head coach at the American Kickboxing Academy Javier Mendez feels otherwise. According to Mendez, Khabib Nurmagomedov has great potential as a coach and it is he who is the real head coach for the Dagestani contingent.
Speaking on the Real Quick with Mike Swick podcast, Javier Mendez praised coach Khabib Nurmagomedov and said:
"But as far as what he's done, he's another level. I can say something to the guys and they'll listen. But if he says something else they're gonna go his route. So, I maybe his coach but the real coach for the Dagestani guys is really him. Even with the other coaches that are really really good, he's the head coach. I mean he'll listen to me but realistically the guys are all gonna listen to him cause he's been for them and he hooks them all up. He gets those guys all money sponsorships. He just cares so much about his whole team that he goes way and above what anybody has ever done to make sure they are taken care of."