When most people walk away from UFC, certainly in their prime, they rarely stay retired.
Khabib Nurmagomedov is one of the rare few who is generally believed to have fully hung up his gloves, and his natural transition to coach is part of the reason.
The 29-0 former UFC lightweight champion bowed out after defeating Justin Gaethje at UFC 254, but since then he’s been coaching and cornering many of his fellow Russians from American Kickboxing Academy.
Names like Umar Nurmagomedov – Khabib’s cousin – and Islam Makhachev, who was victorious on Saturday, have enjoyed the benefits of having Khabib on their side.
Speaking after submitting Thiago Moises in the fourth round of Saturday’s UFC event, Makhachev explained just how selfless The Eagle really is.
“If somebody says I’m the same like Khabib, I agree with this,” Makhachev said at the UFC Vegas 31 post-fight press conference.
“I want to be like Khabib. He is great man, he is champion, he has a lot of money now, a lot of everything, but still humble guy.
“He comes to USA without his family, stays one, two months just to help me. He don’t take money, nothing. He just comes and helps all team. He does everything for team.”
And it’s not just that Khabib won’t take any money from his team – as, of course, coaches and trainers normally do during camps – he actually pays for everything as well.
“We come to USA without him, to San Jose,” Makhachev continued. “He rent big house for team, he rent lots of cars for team, and nobody pay.
“He pay for everything. I cannot explain to you about Khabib because he do a lot of lot of stuff but nobody knows. We all have to tell him thank you.”
Khabib has a flawless record since transitioning to a cornerman with all of his fighters emerging victorious.
Makhachev is now 20-1 in his career and on an eight-fight win streak in the UFC lightweight division.
The division is currently topped by Charles Oliviera and he is set to met Dustin Poirier after The Diamond defeated Conor McGregor earlier this month in the third battle of two previous Khabib foes.