American Kickboxing Academy head coach, Javier Mendez has confirmed former undisputed UFC lightweight champion, Khabib Nurmagomedov is set to walk away from his coaching role in mixed martial arts, in order to spend time with his family.
Khabib, a former undisputed lightweight champion under the banner of the UFC, retired from active competition back in 2020 having improved to 29-0 professionally courtesy of a second round triangle win over Justin Gaethje to unify the lightweight championships.
In the time since, Khabib has turned his hand to coaching – guiding both Islam Makhachev, and Usman Nurmagomedov to undisputed lightweight gold under the banners of the UFC and Bellator MMA in the last year.
However, recently, speculation has rose regarding the coaching future of Khabib, with Russian manager and Eagle FC CEO, Rizvan Magomedov confirming his doubts that the Dagestan native would corner Makhachev at UFC 284 on February 11.
“I think he (Khabib Nurmagomedov) made it clear and it was such a balanced decision that he approached for a long time,” Rizvan Magomedov said during an interview with Russian outlet, Match TV. “There is no need to look for any behind-the-scenes reasons or radical incidents there. He just came to this. He ended his career in 2020, but travels during training camps, during fights. Out of 12 months, he is 10 absent from home, constantly on these trips.”
“And he (Khabib Nurmagomedov) came to such a decision that it was time to spend time with his family, [and] devote time to children. And, most likely, he will miss this fight (Islam Makhachaev vs. Alexander Volkanovski), yes.”
Javier Mendez addresses Khabib Nurmagomedov’s future as a coach in MMA
Following Magomedov’s revelation of Khabib Nurmagomedov’s uncertain future in the sport entirely, AKA head coach, Mendez has confirmed his long-time student is set to take a step away from the coaching setup.
“Yes, he (Khabib Nurmagoemdov) told me, unlike the last time when he promised his mother that he would retire from competition and I was not aware of it, this one here, he informed me about three weeks out that this is what he was gonna do,” Javier Mendez told Submission Radio. “He wants to spend time with his family, and I one hundred per cent I’m with him on what he wants to do and the reasons why he wants to do it.”
“There’s no legit reasons more than family for him and giving them what they deserve, the time, you know, while they’re young,” Mendez explained. “And he never said forever, but there’s gonna be a while though I would imagine. Unles something happens where he really misses that and he really feels he’s needed. But right now, I think everybody is good with his decision and very happy for him.”