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5 traits that make Khabib Nurmagomedov a fantastic coach

Khabib Nurmagomedov has taken to the world of coaching since retirement
Khabib Nurmagomedov has taken to the world of coaching since retirement
Sai Krishna
SENIOR ANALYST
Modified 04 May 2021
Top 5 / Top 10

After retiring with an unblemished 29-0 record, former UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov now has his eyes set on becoming an accomplished coach.

Khabib has cornered or coached four fights so far, and boasts of a 3-1 record. He looks set to follow in the footsteps of his illustrious father, and has been seen working with talented fighters like Islam Makhachev and Luke Rockhold.

Here are 5 traits that make Khabib Nurmagomedov a fantastic coach.


#5 Khabib Nurmagomedov has had impressive tactical insights

Khabib Nurmagomedov perfectly predicted the outcome of his mega-fight against Conor McGregor
Khabib Nurmagomedov perfectly predicted the outcome of his mega-fight against Conor McGregor

Over the course of his 29-fight professional MMA career, Khabib Nurmagomedov nailed most of his predictions. He took Conor McGregor, Dustin Poirier and Justin Gaethje "into deep waters and drowned them", just like he said he would.

But even outside his own fights, 'The Eagle' has gotten a number of predictions spot-on. He predicted that UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman would beat Jorge Masvidal in their first meeting, and correctly picked Petr Yan as the winner of his bout against Jose Aldo on the same card.

Khabib famously predicted the entirety of the UFC 194 card, which had Yoel Romero, Luke Rockhold, Conor McGregor and Max Holloway on it, correctly. He explained in detail why Rafael dos Anjos would beat Anthony Pettis at UFC 185, although the Brazilian entered the fight as the underdog. Khabib even foretold rival Tony Ferguson's defeat at the hands of Charles Oliveira, after 'El Cucuy' suffered a mauling at the hands of Justin Gaethje.

Having gotten a number of predictions right with his impressive tactical acumen and understanding of the sport, Khabib Nurmagomedov can easily become a reputed coach.


#4 Khabib Nurmagomedov knows what it takes to reach the top

Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Dustin Poirier was the former
Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Dustin Poirier was the former's second title defence

Khabib Nurmagomedov is one of the most dominant champions in UFC history, and never really looked to be in any sort of trouble for most of his career in the promotion. Having held the UFC lightweight title and defended it three times, he knows what it takes to reach the top.

Khabib can impart this knowledge to the fighters he coaches, as they too will invariably have the same dreams. The 32-year-old put together an undefeated, spotless MMA career, which is something not even the best coaches in the world can boast of.

Khabib has a keen understanding of how to help his fighters achieve what he did, and this will serve him well as a coach.


#3 Khabib Nurmagomedov has learned from the best

Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov has played the biggest role in shaping his son
Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov has played the biggest role in shaping his son's career

In father Abdulmanap and American Kickboxing Academy founder Javier Mendez, Khabib Nurmagomedov has had the opportunity to learn from the best in the business.

A master of freestyle wrestling, judo and combat sambo, Abdulmanap has trained a number of illustrious fighters both in Russia and worldwide. Islam Makhachev, Rustam Khabilov, Azamat Hashimov and Shamil Zavurov are among those who've been coached by Khabib's father, who has also - of course - trained the Nurmagomedov clan.

Meanwhile, Mendez too has played a huge role in shaping Khabib's career. Apart from the Dagestani, the MMA coach has trained Luke Rockhold, Daniel Cormier, Frank Shamrock, BJ Penn and Cain Velasquez among others.

Having learned from coaches who've produced a number of champions, Khabib has a treasure trove of knowledge and experience to help him on his journey.


#2 Khabib Nurmagomedov has strong morals

Khabib Nurmagomedov holds himself and those around him to a strict moral code
Khabib Nurmagomedov holds himself and those around him to a strict moral code

As a consequence of being raised by a father who stressed upon the importance of discipline and dignity, Khabib Nurmagomedov holds both himself and those around him to a strict moral code.

'The Eagle' has always paid respect to his opponents before and after fights, and has refused to be associated with brands he does not believe in. In fact, he holds himself to such high moral standards that he refused to shake eternal rival Conor McGregor's hand due to the Irishman's controversial behavior outside the Octagon.

Morals are essential for any coach to keep his pupils in check, and Khabib's values will help him get the best out of his fighters. Recently, Rockhold was even seen having to do push-ups as a punishment for arriving late to a training session.


#1 Khabib Nurmagomedov is family-oriented and loyal

Khabib Nurmagomedov is the embodiment of loyalty
Khabib Nurmagomedov is the embodiment of loyalty

Khabib Nurmagomedov is devoted to his family and friends. He has steadfastly refused to come out of retirement and reach 30-0, claiming that each fight takes a few years off his mother's life.

Trust and loyalty are indispensable to a fighter-coach relationship, and Khabib's relationship with Mendez emboided the same. Speaking about his most successful pupil, the 50-year-old once said:

“You came into my life in 2012, now you’re in my life for life. A coach & a fighter’s relationship only a coach and the fighter can really understand. But love, respect & true loyalty the whole world understands and Khabib Nurmagomedov, you are all of that and more.”

The tactical aspect of fighting is important, of course, but arguably not as much as having a solid team around that stands by a fighter's side through thick and thin.

Khabib Nurmagomedov is the perfect combination of all the elements that make someone a fantastic coach, and we are bound to see him at Octagon side many times in the future.


Published 04 May 2021
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