Khabib Nurmagomedov Ready To Move On From Sports, ‘Live For Myself’

Khabib NurmagomedovThe saga of Khabib Nurmagomedov continues, as he once again claims to be done with competing. The UFC lightweight champion has been adamant that his fight against Justin Gaethje at UFC 254 will go down as the last on his record. Despite that, UFC president Dana White has refused to take the title off of […]

Khabib Nurmagomedov

The saga of Khabib Nurmagomedov continues, as he once again claims to be done with competing.

The UFC lightweight champion has been adamant that his fight against Justin Gaethje at UFC 254 will go down as the last on his record. Despite that, UFC president Dana White has refused to take the title off of him, believing he can convince Nurmagomedov to come back for one last fight. In an interview with Esquire Middle East – which features ‘The Eagle’ on the cover of their March issue – Nurmagomedov made it clear he’s happy in retirement.

“Every day I woke up in the morning and started training, and in the evening my body was exhausted, because I had brought it to the limit,” Nurmagomedov said. “I just want to live a life in which I can get at least a little sleep before lunchtime, to live for myself and not devote myself 100 percent to sports.”

A large part of Nurmagomedov’s decision to call it a career had to do with his belief that he has nothing left to accomplish in the sport. After debuting in 2008, the Dagestani fighter ran up a perfect 29-0 record. He picked up victories over some of the best MMA has to offer in Gaethje, Conor McGregor, and Dustin Poirier. Feeling as though there is no one left that offers him a challenge, he is ready to step aside and help his teammates accomplish their goals.

“Now that I’m not going to train any more, I have people close to me—brothers and friends—who are now fighting at the highest level,” Nurmagomedov said. “There are about five or six people who we are building the path with, and I will help them, train with them, share my experiences. . . To some extent, this can be called a coaching life, but I am not going to fully enter into coaching. I will always be there and share my experience.”

Perhaps the most prominent of his “brothers and friends” is rising lightweight contender Islam Makhachev. The longtime friend and training partner of Nurmagomedov is on a 6-fight winning streak, and 7-1 in the UFC overall. The 29-year old will have a massive opportunity to further his place in the lightweight standings when he takes on Drew Dober on the PPV portion of this weekends stacked UFC 259. AKA head coach Javier Mendez has dubbed Makhachev as the heir apparent to the lightweight throne, and Nurmagomedov agrees that it is his time to shine (H/T MMA Fighting).

“Now, everybody talks about Dustin (Poirier), Conor (McGregor), (Michael) Chandler, Justin (Gaethje), (Charles) Oliveira,” Nurmagomedov told ESPN in a separate interview. “But by the end of the year, it’s gonna be changed. I don’t think anyone can beat (Makhachev) right now. He will run (the division).”

Do you think Khabib Nurmagomedov will stay retired? Will Islam Makhachev become the lightweight champion?

Javier Mendez: Islam Makhachev Has All The Tools To Be The Next UFC Lightweight Champion

MakhachevAmerican Kickboxing Academy leader, Javier Mendez has already produced one UFC lightweight champion hailing from Russian in the form of current pacesetter, Khabib Nurmagomedov, and he now claims Khabib’s compatriot, Islam Makhachev is waiting in ‘The Eagle’s’ wings — capable of becoming the next lightweight titleholder. Scheduled to make his long-anticipated Octagon return, the streaking […]

Makhachev

American Kickboxing Academy leader, Javier Mendez has already produced one UFC lightweight champion hailing from Russian in the form of current pacesetter, Khabib Nurmagomedov, and he now claims Khabib’s compatriot, Islam Makhachev is waiting in ‘The Eagle’s’ wings — capable of becoming the next lightweight titleholder.

Scheduled to make his long-anticipated Octagon return, the streaking Makhachev draws fellow surging contender, Drew Dober at UFC 259 in two week’s time, slated to make his first UFC walk since September of 2019 at UFC 242. 

Makhachev was slated to headline a UFC Vegas 14 event in November against former lightweight champion, Rafael dos Anjos — with the matchup shelved for a second time after the former was stricken with a staph infection. Niteroi native, dos Anjos would go on to lodge a split decision win over short-notice replacement, Paul Felder at the event.

The 29-year-old has amassed a six-fight winning spree since his knockout loss to Adriano Martins at UFC 192 in October of 2015, and according to renowned head coach, Mendez, Makchaev has “all the tools” to score lightweight gold next.

Well, I wouldn’t call him (Islam Makhachev) the next Khabib (Nurmagomedov), I’d just call him the next Islam — which to me is the next champ,” Mendez said during a recent interview with Mike Swick on the Real Quick with Mike Swick show. “I think he has all the tools to be the next lightweight champion. And it’s just a matter of getting by Drew Dober which is no easy task.

Drew’s ranked higher in the rankings (than Makhachev),” Mendez said. “You know, he’s not ranked lower which he should be ranked lower cause he’s really that good. But for us, beating a Drew Dober which we’re planning on doing, is not gonna do a great deal for us, only because Drew’s ranking is too high.

Failing to secure another rebooking against dos Anjos, Mendez maintains an outing and victory over the former division gold holder would’ve benefited Makhachev more than a victory over Dober — predicting he would’ve earned the #7 rank at 155-pounds.

If we would’ve got RDA (Rafael dos Anjos) as was originally scheduled, that would’ve been a good one, because then they (the ranking committee) would’ve put him in the top-ten at least, I would say top-seven for damn sure if he had of beat RDA — which I believe he would’ve.

Entering his March 6th. outing against Dober riding a six-fight winning streak, Makhachev has taken decision wins over Chris Wade, Nik Lentz, fellow prospect, Arman Tsakuryan, and Davi Ramos, as well as an armbar win over Kajan Johnson and a knockout of Gleison Tibau. 

Elevation Fight Team mainstay, Dober is enjoying a rich vein of form as well — scoring a trio of knockout victories over Marco Polo Reyes, the highly-touted, Nasrat Haqparast, as well as a UFC Fight Night Jacksonville stoppage of Alexander Hernandez last May. 

Drew Dober Not Sold On Islam Makhachev: ‘A Lot Of His Hype Comes From Khabib’

Drew DoberUFC lightweight contender Drew Dober isn’t buying into the hype surrounding Islam Makhachev. Dober is set to face the highly touted Russian at UFC 259 on March 6. The 32-year-old has the chance to extend his win streak to four and break the 155lb top-10 in this fight. Makhachev is currently riding a six-fight win […]

Drew Dober

UFC lightweight contender Drew Dober isn’t buying into the hype surrounding Islam Makhachev.

Dober is set to face the highly touted Russian at UFC 259 on March 6. The 32-year-old has the chance to extend his win streak to four and break the 155lb top-10 in this fight. Makhachev is currently riding a six-fight win streak and has been described as a future champion by current lightweight king Khabib Nurmagomedov.

In an interview with MMA Junkie, Dober explained that much of Makhachev’s hype comes directly from ‘The Eagle’.

“I think a lot of the hype comes from when you have one of the greatest of all time Khabib talk so highly of you, plus Russian fans follow their athletes whole-heartedly,” Dober said. “So I think a lot of his hype comes from Khabib and the fanbase and all that stuff and not really so much his accomplishments in the cage. Honestly, that’s what I’m trying to test out, to kinda see if that hype is really all there and that kinda thing. I don’t really see the hype being warranted, but we’re here to find out Mar. 6.”

Dober says he is already being taunted by Makachev’s army of fans ahead of the bout.

“Of course, which I love,” Dober said on Makhachev’s fans coming after him on social media. “Whether you want to see me win or you want to see me lose, you’re tuning into my fight, and performing martial arts in front of as many people as possible is my dream, so I absolutely adore it … Honestly I think I got more negative opinions when I was fighting Nasrat than I do with Islam, but man, it’s all the same to me,” he continued. “It’s more eyes on my fight, and the more eyes the merrier, and I get super excited about it so I’m really just enjoying every moment of this camp.”

Do you agree with Drew Dober? Is Islam Makhachev overhyped because of his links to Khabib Nurmagomedov?

Drew Dober Says no Kryptonite For Him at UFC 259

Drew Dober believes his bout against Islam Makhachev at UFC 259 is a chance to propel himself into the company of some of the best lightweights in the UFC. Drew Dober is well aware that his clash against Islam Makhachev at UFC 259 on March 6 is going t…

Drew Dober believes his bout against Islam Makhachev at UFC 259 is a chance to propel himself into the company of some of the best lightweights in the UFC. Drew Dober is well aware that his clash against Islam Makhachev at UFC 259 on March 6 is going to be a very tough test. In […]

Khabib Names McGregor, Poirier, And Makhachev As The Three Best Lightweights In The UFC

KhabibUndefeated, undisputed UFC lightweight champion, Khabib ‘The Eagle’ Nurmagomedov has shared his thoughts on the current state of affairs at 155-pounds, listing arch-rival, ‘The Notorious’ Conor McGregor, former-foe, Dustin ‘The Diamond’ Poirier, and teammate, Islam Makhachev as the best of the crop in the current climate.  Despite his retirement immediately following UFC 254 in October, […]

Khabib

Undefeated, undisputed UFC lightweight champion, Khabib ‘The Eagle’ Nurmagomedov has shared his thoughts on the current state of affairs at 155-pounds, listing arch-rival, ‘The Notorious’ Conor McGregor, former-foe, Dustin ‘The Diamond’ Poirier, and teammate, Islam Makhachev as the best of the crop in the current climate. 

Despite his retirement immediately following UFC 254 in October, Khabib remains the undisputed king of the lightweights according to the UFC, with the Russian sambo-specialist sat atop the promotion’s pound-for-pound rankings as well, dislodging former two-time light heavyweight titleholder, Jon ‘Bones’ Jones.

Knocking back another challenger to his throne at the October ‘Fight Island’ event, Khabib successfully unified the lightweight titles with a highlight-reel performance against interim champion, Justin ‘The Highlight’ Gaethje — nabbing a second-round triangle win. 

Following the victory, an emotional Khabib shelled up in the centre of the Octagon as emotions built up following the sad passing of his father and renowned sambo trainer, Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov earlier that year began to flood out. 

Speaking with UFC commentator, Jon Anik afterwards, Khabib announced his decision to retire from professional mixed martial arts with immediate effect, detailing how he had made a promise to his mother that he wouldn’t feature in the Octagon again without his late father by his side.

With the title still firmly wrapped around his waist, a potential lightweight title-eliminator between incoming two-time foes, the above mentioned, Poirier and McGregor is scheduled to headline UFC 257 on January 23 in Abu Dhabi, UAE — and along with those two prior opponents of Khabib, and American Kickboxing Academy stablemate, Makhachev — Khabib sees that lightweight trio as the best in the division right now.

Lightweight has always been very competitive,” Khabib said during a recent interview with Match TV. “All major UFC events in 2020 were built around lightweight. First, it was Conor (McGregor’s) comeback, then (Justin) Gaethje against (Tony) Ferguson. Then (Dustin) Poirier’s comeback [against Dan Hooker in June]. Then my fight with Gaethje, This weight (division) has always been interesting and competitive.

Top three [lightweight] fighters right now? ” Khabib said. “(Dustin) Poirier, (Conor) McGregor, and (Islam) Makhachev. He (Makhachev) is not in the top-five yet, but those are the best fighters. My belt will be taken by the winner of Dustin and Conor.

Khabib, who is expected to meet with UFC president Dana White regarding his immediate fighting future next month in Abu Dhabi has declared his interest in honouring his retirement, however, White has noted his confidence
that Khabib will snap his hiatus in search of a perfect 30-0 résumé. 

The 32-year-old Dagestani has also detailed his confusion regarding the status of the undisputed lightweight crown, claiming he’s unaware as to why he’s still billed as the undisputed kingpin despite his decision to hang up his gloves almost three months ago. 

Islam Makhachev vs. Drew Dober Targeted for UFC 259 in March

The UFC is targeting a high-level lightweight bout between streaking fighters Islam Makhachev and UFC vet Drew Dober for UFC 259 in March. As initially reported by ESPN, a fight between Islam Makhachev and Drew Dober is in the works for UFC 259 on Marc…

The UFC is targeting a high-level lightweight bout between streaking fighters Islam Makhachev and UFC vet Drew Dober for UFC 259 in March. As initially reported by ESPN, a fight between Islam Makhachev and Drew Dober is in the works for UFC 259 on March 6. The ESPN report cited March 6 as an option […]

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