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Watch: Khabib Nurmagomedov returns to AKA and has hilarious interaction with coach Javier Mendez

Javier Mendez (left) with Khabib Nurmagomedov (right)
Javier Mendez (left) with Khabib Nurmagomedov (right)
Johny Payne
SENIOR ANALYST

Khabib Nurmagomedov recently returned to the AKA (American Kickboxing Academy) gym in San Jose, California, and had an amusing interaction with coach Javier Mendez.

Former UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov was initially trained by his father, legendary MMA coach Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov. 'The Eagle' eventually started organizing parts of his fight camps in the US, training at the world-renowned AKA gym.

The legendary Russian fighter recently returned to the AKA gym and has been featured in one of the latest videos released by AKA head coach Javier Mendez on his YouTube channel. Khabib Nurmagomedov appeared to be in quite a jovial mood, seemingly helping Luke Rockhold train. Nurmagomedov stated:

“Action, action! Action, Luke Rockhold! Yes, action!” Khabib Nurmagomedov said, as he encouraged longtime teammate, former UFC middleweight champion Luke Rockhold to continue his kicking drill on the mitts.
“Coach, tell this guy, ‘action!”, Khabib Nurmagomedov jested, urging Javier Mendez to ensure that Luke Rockhold keeps working.
“What happened with your guys? Today, I come back. I don’t train last seven months. Where is your champions? Where is DC (Daniel Cormier)? Where is Cain (Velasquez)? Luke come here like empty. Where is everybody, coach? I need someone.” (*H/T Sportskeeda for the transcription)

Watch the video below:

Javier Mendez proceeded to tell Khabib Nurmagomedov that the individual standing next to him was a champion. Nurmagomedov responded by saying that he doesn’t know the man.

Nonetheless, 'The Eagle' noted that he could “check him,” possibly suggesting that he’d spar with the man Mendez was pointing at. Khabib Nurmagomedov proposed they spar next Monday, only for Mendez to reveal that the individual was leaving on Sunday.

Many in the MMA community believe that the years Khabib Nurmagomedov spent at AKA significantly helped him improve his striking skills. Nurmagomedov was already a world-class grappler under his father’s guidance, and training at AKA helped him become a truly well-rounded mixed martial artist.

Khabib Nurmagomedov retired from the sport of MMA in October 2020. Of late, Nurmagomedov hasn’t been training as much as he used to during his time as an active MMA fighter. ‘The Eagle’ has had quite a busy work schedule, however, with his business ventures and other commitments outside the fight game.

Khabib Nurmagomedov won’t return to MMA unless his mother permits him to do so

Luke Rockhold (left); Khabib Nurmagomedov (right)
Luke Rockhold (left); Khabib Nurmagomedov (right)

Khabib Nurmagomedov’s father, Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov, passed away due to health complications arising from COVID-19 in July 2020. 'The Eagle' subsequently competed in just one MMA fight – a second-round submission win over Justin Gaethje at UFC 254 in October 2020.

Following this, Khabib Nurmagomedov bid adieu to the sport and revealed that his mother didn’t want him to continue his fighting career without his father by his side. In the ensuing months, Nurmagomedov, Javier Mendez, and others close to 'The Eagle' have consistently maintained that he won’t compete in a professional MMA fight again unless his mother permits him to do so.

As a retired veteran of the sport, Khabib Nurmagomedov has been working with his fellow Dagestani MMA teammates and his AKA brethren like Luke Rockhold, helping them prepare for their fights.

Also Read: 5 opponents for Khabib Nurmagomedov's comeback fight should his mother give him her blessing


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Edited by Avinash Tewari
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