Khabib Nurmagomedov retired as the greatest UFC lightweight champion of all time. Now that he is no longer competing inside the octagon, Khabib has time to mentor and coach UFC fighters from outside the cage.
He already has experience cornering his teammate Islam Mackachev and cousin Abubakar Nurmagomedov in the UFC.
There are plenty of UFC fighters that could use some advice, motivation, and expertise from Khabib to improve their performances inside the octagon. Here are 5 UFC fighters who would level up with Khabib as their coach.
#5 Kevin Holland
The fighter who never stops talking before and during his fights, Kevin Holland, could use some coaching from Khabib. "Big Mouth" was decisively beaten by Derek Brunson in their main event matchup.
Brunson used his superior wrestling to control Holland on the ground. Kevin Holland even spoke with Khabib during the fight, with "The Eagle" offering some pointers.
A training camp with Khabib working on Holland’s takedown defense could be the thing the talkative fighter needs to take the next step in his UFC career.
#4 Francis Ngannou
Francis Ngannou is one of the scariest fighters ever to step foot into the UFC octagon. He has the power in his hands to knock any fighter out cold. Now imagine if he had wrestling to back up his standup skills?
The only time "The Predator" was dominated in the UFC was when Stipe Miocic took him down numerous times in their title fight in 2018.
Give Khabib a few months with the African giant on the wrestling mat and he could become an even scarier proposition for the UFC heavyweight division.
#3 Israel Adesanya
When it comes to standup striking, "The Last Stylebender" is in a class of his own. The UFC middleweight champion is undefeated in the division, easily defeating his title challengers.
However, when Adesanya attempted to become the latest UFC "champ-champ," he was beaten by UFC light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowizc. While holding his own on their feet, Adesanya was taken down in the fourth and fifth round to lose a unanimous decision to the Polish fighter.
Khabib could help Israel not only stop the takedown but learn how to get back up after being taken down. Adding an enhanced wrestling game to the Kiwi champion’s repertoire could help him in his eventual showdown with Jon Jones.
#2 Jorge Masvidal
One of the biggest challenges in the UFC is to try and dethrone an undefeated champion. So, why wouldn’t Jorge Masvidal approach Khabib Nurmagomedov (an undefeated champion) before his rematch with UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman?
In their first matchup at UFC 251, Masvidal was taken down easily by "The Nigerian Nightmare" and lost a one-sided unanimous decision. Now "Gamebred" did take the fight on two-weeks notice but having Khabib in his corner would certainly help.
If the "BMF" champ can keep the fight standing, then he can use his dynamic boxing skills to hurt Usman.
#1 Conor McGregor
“Keep your friends close and your enemies closer."
Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor have one of the fiercest rivalries in MMA history. Even after Khabib had defeated McGregor at UFC 229, a near-riot broke out when Khabib attacked Conor’s cornermen before the official decision was read.
However, there is no doubt that Khabib could help Conor return to the top of the lightweight division. "The Eagle" has defeated McGregor’s likely next opponent, Dustin Poirier, and can help McGregor shore up his takedown and wrestling defense.
The training sessions would be intense, just the thing the former two-time UFC champion needs to beat Poirier and current lightweight contenders.