Javier Mendez thinks Khabib Nurmagomedov is doing a really good job of taking his father’s legacy further.
Khabib Nurmagomedov’s father, Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov, is widely revered in the MMA community for having coached multiple top-tier MMA fighters over the years. Abdulmanap himself was a highly accomplished martial arts practitioner and combat sports competitor.
Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov passed away in July 2020 due to health complications related to COVID-19. He left behind a legacy of being one of the greatest coaches the MMA world has ever known.
One of Khabib Nurmagomedov’s longtime coaches, Javier Mendez, of the world-renowned AKA (American Kickboxing Academy), recently spoke to Helen Yee Sports on a myriad of topics.
In response to Helen Yee noting that Khabib Nurmagomedov’s fighters have gone undefeated under his guidance, thereby making ‘Coach Khabib’ undefeated thus far, AKA head coach Javier Mendez stated:
“Yeah. No, he’s a great coach. In all seriousness, that guy can coach, man. And I’m on board more as a mentor than anything. He’s actually doing all the work. I’m doing a lot of the work with the guys too but, you know, he loves coaching. And he’s taking over his father’s, you know, legacy of what his father left behind. And he’s pursuing that. Man, he’s doing really great. He really is. And he’s doing it for the right reasons."(*H/T Sportskeeda for the transcription)
The best-known and most successful students who were trained by Abdulmanap are Khabib Nurmagomedov, Islam Makhachev, Sultan Aliev, Rustam Khabilov, Umar Nurmagomedov, and Usman Nurmagomedov, to name a few.
Following Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov’s passing in July 2020, Khabib Nurmagomedov competed in just one MMA fight, which also happens to be Nurmagomedov’s most recent fight. The Eagle faced Justin Gaethje in a UFC lightweight title unification matchup at UFC 254 (October 2020).
The fight witnessed Khabib Nurmagomedov put on yet another brilliant performance as he defeated Justin Gaethje via second-round submission and successfully unified the UFC lightweight titles. In the post-fight octagon interview, Khabib went on to announce his retirement from the sport of MMA.
Khabib Nurmagomedov has retired from MMA but continues honing his MMA skills and training others as well
Khabib Nurmagomedov revealed that he retired from MMA out of respect for his mother’s wishes. Khabib’s mother didn’t want him to continue his fighting career without his father Abdulmanap by his side.
That's why Khabib competed one last time in October 2020, after his father’s death in July 2020, and then bid adieu to the sport. However, Khabib Nurmagomedov has confirmed that he’ll continue honing his MMA skills and training, despite having retired from the sport.
Furthermore, Khabib Nurmagomedov has been devoting a considerable amount of time to train his teammates – Islam Makhachev, Umar Nurmagomedov, Usman Nurmagomedov, and others – for their fights. Khabib has been helping out in a coaching role in his native Dagestan, Russia, as well as at AKA in San Jose, California.