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Javier Mendez explains why Khabib Nurmagomedov is still training with his teammates at AKA despite retiring

Khabib Nurmagomedov (left); Javier Mendez (right) (Image credits: @khabib_nurmagomedov and @akajav via Instagram).
Khabib Nurmagomedov (left); Javier Mendez (right) (Image credits: @khabib_nurmagomedov and @akajav via Instagram).
SENIOR ANALYST

When fighters retire, they usually decide to do away with relentless training and punishing their bodies like they used to. Khabib Nurmagomedov, however, seems to belong in a different category.

The Dagestani's perennial love for the fight game has led him to improve the skills of his teammates at the American Kickboxing Academy (AKA) gym. This was recently confirmed by Javier Mendez, the head coach at AKA.

Speaking to Mike Swick on the Real Quick With Mike Swick Podcast, Mendez said the only reason Nurmagomedov is training at AKA is to familiarize his teammates with "world-class" grappling:

"Khabib is still grappling with these guys and whooping up on everybody. He is whooping up on all these guys. He goes, 'coach, how are these guys gonna know what it feels like to go with a world-class grappler, and fight and grapple with them. And I said, 'you know Khabib, you are 100 percent correct. They are gonna know what it feels like to be going up against the best ever and you're the best ever at your weight, so yeah, it would be best for you to grapple with them'. So that's why Khabib grapples with these guys, so he wants these guys to get a feel for what it's like," said Mendez.

Khabib Nurmagomedov makes sure he's training with fighters who aren't too heavy, ideally those who don't weigh more than 200 pounds, Mendez added.

Watch Javier Mendez's full interview with Mike Swift below:


Khabib Nurmagomedov has no plans to return to MMA

Khabib Nurmagomedov retired from the sport in October of last year after defeating Justin Gaethje at UFC 254. Dana White tried - for months - to bring 'The Eagle' out of retirement but to no avail. In March 2021, the UFC president confirmed Nurmagomedov has no interest in returning to the octagon.

During his recent appearance on Hotboxin' with Mike Tyson, Nurmagomedov doubled down on his reluctance to make a return. The 32-year-old said he has no intentions of coming back to the UFC. He also has no interest in facing Floyd Mayweather in a boxing showdown, which apparently would have guaranteed him a whopping $100 million payday.

Khabib Nurmagomedov is one of the greatest MMA fighters of all time. In his 12-year stint in the sport, 'The Eagle' established a picture-perfect 29-0 record with three title defenses in the UFC.


Edited by Jack Cunningham
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