Nurmagomedov has remained a part of the UFC conversations despite retiring last year. He last competed against Justin Gaethje at UFC 254 before his retirement and has remained friends with Usman for years.
Both Usman and Nurmagomedov are considered to be two of the top wrestlers in UFC history, and both are and were represented by manager Ali Abdelaziz. Usman will take center stage this weekend as he faces Covington in a rematch of one of the best fights in UFC history.
During Episode 3 of the UFC’s ‘UFC 268 Embedded’ series, Usman showed his facetime call with Nurmagomedov while in NYC preparing for his fight.
Khabib Nurmagomedov Facetimed Kamaru Usman Before UFC 268
“Really good to see you, brother,” Nurmagomedov told Usman. “Play as well as smash this guy [Colby Covington] and defend the belt. I really want him to smash this guy like the first time.
“Let’s go, Kamaru. Pound-for-pound best in the world. Kamaru Usman, Nigerian Nightmare, African Power. Let’s go, brother! I’m with you,” Nurmagomedov continued.
Nurmagomedov has remained in the public eye since retiring, holding his own promotion Eagle FC and is a prominent presence in many UFC fighters’ corners. He coaches up-and-coming fighters such as Islam Makhachev.
Abdelaziz said during a recent interview that he expects Usman to surpass Nurmagomedov as one of the greatest fighters ever sometime soon. But first, he’ll need to beat Covington again and put on another dominant performance inside of the octagon.
How close is Kamaru Usman to Khabib Nurmagomedov’s status on the all-time UFC list?