Khabib Nurmagomedov is a great coach, but he ‘needs some work’ on becoming a cornerman after UFC 302

Khabib Nurmagomedov is a great coach, but he 'needs some work' on becoming a cornerman after UFC 302Khabib Nurmagomedov is widely considered to be one of the greatest mixed martial artists in the history of the…

Khabib Nurmagomedov is a great coach, but he 'needs some work' on becoming a cornerman after UFC 302

Khabib Nurmagomedov is widely considered to be one of the greatest mixed martial artists in the history of the sport—but his skills as a cornerman could use some work.

‘The Eagle’ returned to Islam Makhachev’s corner at UFC 302, overseeing the Dagestani’s third successful defense of the lightweight world title via a fifth-round submission victory over division fan favorite Dustin Poirier. It marked the first time that Nurmagomedov was in his protege’s corner since he claimed the 155-pound crown against Charles Oliveira in October 2022.

Khabib Nurmagomedov, Javier Mendez, Islam Makhachev

Working the corner with Nurmagomedov was renowned MMA coach and American Kickboxing Academy founder Javier Mendez, who helped coach both ‘The Eagle’ and Makhachev to the top of the lightweight division. Speaking with The Schmo following the events of UFC 302, Mendez revealed that while Nurmagomedov is a great game planner, he needs a bit more fine-tuning when it comes to cornering a fighter.

“Khabib’s actually becoming a great coach and a great cornerman – [but] he needs some work on the cornering,” Mendez said. “He’s great at game planning, he’s fantastic at game planning but we need to work a little bit on the cornering – just a little bit” (h/t Bloody Elbow).

Mendez was able to expand on his comments during a follow-up interview with Helen Yee, revealing that Nurmagomedov’s biggest obstacle is his own excitement in the heat of the moment.

“He needs to master the corner though… We still need to work the corner because he goes a little crazy on there, up and down, slamming on the table – [I told him] ‘Calm down, calm down’. He gets really amped up,” Mendez added. “I mean he loves his fighters so much [as] his brothers that you know, he puts everything into that fight when he goes, I forgot what it was like to have him in the corner; it’s kind of crazy.”

Khabib Nurmagomedov, Javier Mendez, Islam Makhachev

Mendez Offered Khabib Nurmagomedov some advice on how to improve his corner work

Having coached a slew of MMA world champions, including Daniel Cormier, Cain Velasquez, Luke Rockhold, and Usman Nurmagomedov, ‘The Eagle’ would be wise to listen to any advice that Mendez has for him.

“I gave him instructions on ‘Hey, it’s okay to do what you need to do but just sit down, yell as loud as you can to get your fighters’ attention, you don’t have to hit the table, stand up and cause the commission to tell us to sit down,’ Mendez said.

“Scream as loud as you can – he goes ‘Coach, how am I going to reach him’, I go ‘Scream, scream as loud as you can’ but you’ve got to say things within reason because you got to listen the crowd, if the crowd’s screaming [too] then your fighter is going to hear nothing.”

With Makhachev’s win over Poirier, the ‘Dagestani Destroyer’ will likely find himself squaring off with No. 1 ranked contender Arman Tsarukyan. No official announcements have been made, but ‘Ahalkalakets’ believes their long-awaited rematch will go down this October in Abu Dhabi or in November when the UFC heads back to the world’s most famous arena—Madison Square Garden.

Video – Dustin Poirier catches up with Team Khabib following UFC 302: ‘I just want to wish you the best’

Video - Dustin Poirier catches up with Team Khabib following UFC 302: 'I just want to wish you the best'After going toe-to-toe with Islam Makhachev for nearly five rounds, there was nothing, but respect between Dustin Poirier and…

Video - Dustin Poirier catches up with Team Khabib following UFC 302: 'I just want to wish you the best'

After going toe-to-toe with Islam Makhachev for nearly five rounds, there was nothing, but respect between Dustin Poirier and Team Khabib.

Stepping into the main event spotlight at UFC 302 for his third and (likely) final shot at lightweight gold, ‘The Diamond’ threw everything he had at the Makhachev in hopes of being the man to finally dethrone the ‘Dagestani Destroyer.’ Unfortunately, it wasn’t meant to be. After 22 and a half minutes of intense action, Makhachev finally forced Poirier to tap out via a slick darce joke that ultimately put his opponent to sleep.

Dustin Poirier

Though the animosity leading up to fight night was evident, there was nothing, but respect between Poirier and Makhachev’s team, led by UFC Hall of Famer and all-time great Khabib Nurmagomedov, once it was all said and done.

What’s next for Dustin Poirier and Islam makhachev?

As for what comes next, the picture is much more clear on Makhachev’s side of things. The Dagestani will likely find himself tasked with taking on No. 1 ranked lightweight contender Arman Tsarukyan sometime this fall. Ahalkalakets’ earned his spot at the front of the line with a split decision victory over Charles Oliveira at UFC 300 in April.

Tsarukyan

No official announcements have been made regarding their inevitable clash, but Tsarukyan recently suggested that it will likely go down this October in Abu Dhabi or in November at the world’s most famous arena, Madison Square Garden.

Tsarukyan

With Poirier, the future is uncertain. Even before he made the walk in The Garden State, ‘The Diamond’ made it clear that UFC 302 could be his final stand. He did leave the door cracked open for a potential return, but has since told Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour that he is “leaning towards being done.”

Former US President endorses UFC icon Khabib Nurmagomedov after meeting: ‘He’s the greatest fighter of all time’

Former US President heaps praise on UFC icon Khabib Nurmagomedov he's the greatest fighter of all timeFormer United States President, Donald Trump has commented on his recent meeting with former undisputed lightweight champion, Khabib Nurmagomedov…

Former US President heaps praise on UFC icon Khabib Nurmagomedov he's the greatest fighter of all time

Former United States President, Donald Trump has commented on his recent meeting with former undisputed lightweight champion, Khabib Nurmagomedov over the weekend at UFC 302, claiming the Russian star is probably the greatest fighter to ever compete in combat sports.

Trump, who has attended several events held by the UFC in a pay-per-view setting over the last eighteen month, was Octagon-side at UFC 302 last weekend in New Jersey, sharing words with fighters – including a notable meeting with Kevin Holland after his submission win over Michal Oleksiejczuk.

donald trump
Greg Nash

And following the night’s headliner, which saw undisputed lightweight titleholder, Islam Makahchev lay waste to Dustin Poirier with a fifth round D’Arce choke, Trump shared an embrace with the champion’s trainer, former lightweight star, Nurmagomedov.

Khabib Nurmagomedov set to return to corner for Islam Makhachev fight at UFC 302
Mandatory Credit: Zuffa LLC

Donald Trump endorses Khabib Nurmagomedov after UFC 302

Commenting on his viral meeting with the Dagestani favorite, Trump heaped praise on Nurmagoemdov’s future – claiming he was likely the greatest fighter of all-time, and claimed there was “big things” in the ex-champion’s future.

Donald Trump paid $2.5 million for Holyfield and Belfort fight by Triller
Mandatory Credit: Zuffa LLC

“Khabib Nurmagomedov, who retired after a RECORD of 29-0, never having lost even a single round, is probably the Greatest Fighter of All Time,” Donald Trump posted on social media platform, Truth Social, accompanied by a picture of himself with Khabib Nurmagomedov. “I met him at the UFC event on Saturday night in New Jersey. A really smart guy – Big things in the future of Khabib! DJT” 

Guiding Makhachev to his third successful defense of the lightweight championship, the above-mentioned Nurmagomedov claimed his compariot had “grown” a lot during his fight with Poirier – dealing with significant adversity in the bout, in the form of a sizeable laceration opened on his forehead in the fourth round.

GPDorCtWMAAJHXp

What are your thoughts on Donald Trump’s comments about Khabib Nurmagomedov?

Khabib Nurmagomedov rips judge who had UFC 302 main event tied: ‘Send me this guy’s name and location’

Khabib Nurmagomedov rips judge who had UFC 302 main event tied send me his name and locationFormer undisputed lightweight champion, Khabib Nurmagomedov was less than pleased to learn overnight how judge, Chris Lee had the…

Khabib Nurmagomedov rips judge who had UFC 302 main event tied send me his name and location

Former undisputed lightweight champion, Khabib Nurmagomedov was less than pleased to learn overnight how judge, Chris Lee had the UFC 302 headliner between Dustin Poirier, and the Russian’s training partner, Islam Makhachev tied ahead of a fifth and final round.

Nurmagomedov, who featured in the corner of Makhachev overnight at UFC 302 in New Jersey, watched on as his protége landed an eventual fifth round submission win over former interim champion, Poirier – locking up a taut D’Arce choke on their common-foe.

Islam UFC 302 title 1

Successfully defending his lightweight crown for the third time following prior successive successful defenses against former featherweight pacesetter, Alexander Volkanovski – Makhachev likely sent Poirier into retirement from the sport to boot.

And staking his claim once more for a shot at the welterweight title – which is up for grabs as soon as next month in the main event of UFC 304, pound-for-pound number one, Makhachev also reluctantly weighed up a rematch with Arman Tsarukyan.

Video - UFC Hall of Famer Khabib Nurmagomedov shares a word with the former president at UFC 302

However, dealing with some decent adversity in the form of a massive laceration on his forehead caused in the fourth round – as well as an admitted staph infection in his left leg ahead of UFC 302, Makhachev was in need of a round win to defend his title successfully, according to judge, Lee’s scorecard. 

Khabib Nurmagomedov disgusted with UFC 302 judge

Upon learning of the official’s card, Nurmagomedov, who coached Makhachev to last night’s win alongside American Kickboxing Academy leader, Javier Mendez – urged friend, Daniel Cormier to find out Lee’s “location” for him.

Islam title UFC 302 Rogan

“2-2, how?” Khabib Nurmagomedov replied to Cormier who informed him how judge, Chris Lee had the bout between Makhachev and Poirier even ahead of the fifth round. “One judge gave a lot of fights crazy, crazy numbers – like 50-45. Send me this guy’s name and location.”

Sharing his immediate thoughts on Makhachev’s performance, Nurmagomedov claimed the Makhachkala native “grew” a lot in his fight with Poirier, given the adversity he was forced to overcome.

What are your thoughts on Khabib Nurmagomedov’s future in MMA?

Video – UFC Hall of Famer Khabib Nurmagomedov shares a word with the former president at UFC 302

Video - UFC Hall of Famer Khabib Nurmagomedov shares a word with the former president at UFC 302Former UFC lightweight world champion Khabib Nurmagomedov shared a word with Ol’ 45 on Saturday night. Just before the…

Video - UFC Hall of Famer Khabib Nurmagomedov shares a word with the former president at UFC 302

Former UFC lightweight world champion Khabib Nurmagomedov shared a word with Ol’ 45 on Saturday night.

Just before the promotion’s latest pay-per-view offering in Newark, New Jersey was set to get underway, Donald Trump made his presence felt, receiving his own walkout alongside CEO Dana White to the tune of his officially unofficial entrance song, American Badass.

Fighters practically tripped over themselves throughout the night to share a handshake with Trump, including Hall of Famer Khabib Nurmagomedov. A clip of the pair’s brief interaction hit social media, revealing a rather interesting conversation between the two.

“I know you will stop the war in Palestine,” Nurmagomedov said, prompting Trump to respond with, “We will stop it. I will stop the war.”

Perhaps Mr. Trump can let us know how he plans to do that when he goes head-to-head with current President Joe Biden in a debate scheduled for Thursday, June 27 in Atlanta.

Khabib Nurmagomedov and Donald Trump

UFC 302 was Trump’s first public appearance since being found guilty on 34 felony counts of falsifying business records stemming from a hush money payment made to porn star Stormy Daniels during his 2016 presidential campaign.

He will be sentenced for his crimes on July 11 — just days before the Republican party is expected to pick him as their 2024 nominee.

Donald Trump

UFC 302 delivers a few big wins and one gnarly injury

Aside from Trump’s presence hanging over the event like a dark cloud, the UFC’s latest offering delivered some entertaining action. In the main event of the evening, Islam Makhachev successfully defended his 155-pound crown, dispatching Dustin Poirier in the fifth round via submission.

Elsewhere, Sean Strickland scored a fairly dominant victory over Paulo Costa and Kevin Holland collected Micha? Oleksiejczuk’s arm in one of the gnarliest moments of the night.

Kevin Holland

UFC 302: Islam Makhachev Survives Toughest Test and May Surpass Mentor Khabib

Islam Makhachev has long been living in the shadow of Khabib Nurmagomedov, but after Saturday’s UFC 302 card in Newark, he may have actually surpassed his…

Islam Makhachev has long been living in the shadow of Khabib Nurmagomedov, but after Saturday’s UFC 302 card in Newark, he may have actually surpassed his…