Khabib Nurmagomedov was initially set to face Holloway back at UFC 223. However, a highly-anticipated fight between the former UFC lightweight and former UFC featherweight champion never came to fruition after Holloway was forced to pull out of the fight. Blessed wasn't medically cleared to step inside the Octagon.
Here's Khabib Nurmagomedov's show of admiration and respect for Max Holloway:
Following Holloway's removal from the bout, Nurmagomedov eventually faced Al Iaquinta for the UFC lightweight title.
At UFC 223, Khabib Nurmagomedov won the UFC lightweight championship and marked the beginning of his era as the UFC lightweight champion. After a reign that lasted almost three years, Khabib officially vacated the title this year. Dana White confirmed that The Eagle had retired from the sport of MMA and wouldn't fight again.
Khabib Nurmagomedov had originally announced his retirement at UFC 254
Khabib Nurmagomedov competed in the UFC Octagon for the final time at UFC 254. In his final bout, The Eagle defeated Justin Gaethje to retain the UFC lightweight championship and immediately announced his retirement from the sport of Mixed Martial Arts.
Since his retirement, Khabib has transitioned from a fighter to a coach and is already 4-0 as a mentor to his fellow teammates. The former UFC champion has successfully guided all his cousins - Abubakar, Usman and Umar Nurmagomedov - to victories recently.
At UFC 259, Khabib was also in the corner of UFC's up-and-coming lightweight star Islam Makahchev. Makhachev, who has been touted as the next potential UFC lightweight champion to emerge from Russia, defeated Drew Dober via submission and continued his rise in the 155-lbs division.
With victories for all three of Khabib Nurmagomedov's cousins and Islam Makachev across UFC and Bellator MMA, The Eagle seems confident and determined in his role as a coach.