Islam Makhachev has shared his feelings on Khabib Nurmagomedov’s exit from mixed martial arts.
Following his retirement from competition, Nurmagomedov remained heavily involved in the world of MMA, taking over the coaching role of his late father, Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov.
Since transitioning into a coaching role, Nurmagomedov has steered Makhachev to the UFC lightweight championship and his cousin, Usman Nurmagoemdov, to the Bellator MMA lightweight championship. The Dagestan native has also cornered fighters such as Tagir Ulanbekov, Umar Nurmagomedov, Abubakar, and UFC welterweight contender Belal Muhammad.
Islam Makhachev weighs in on Khabib Nurmagomedov’s MMA departure
While in Australia promoting his upcoming fight with featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski, Makhachev weighed in on his mentor’s decision to step away from the sport.
“Of course, it’s going to be different, but I’ve already fought without him a couple of times. And he cannot always be with me,” Makhachev said to Fox Sport.
“Of course, it’s very good when he is here. I always like when he is with me because he knows all the games being played. He knows what you need for the fight, for the weight cut, you don’t have to worry about any of this. It’s always good when you have someone as experienced as him.“
“You don’t have to spend your energy thinking about other things. But I understand that he has to spend more time with his family. Because with all the fighting, the training, his family misses him too. Even though he is retired he’s still traveling a lot. That’s why I understand (the decision).”
Quotes via H/T Fox Sport
Makhachev and Volkanovski are set to collide in a champion versus champion super fight in the UFC 284 main event on February 11. The fight will take place in the RAC Arena in Perth, Australia.
Watch Islam Makhachev and Alexander Volkanovski face-off ahead of UFC 284 title fight
Do you think Islam Makhachev not having Khabib Nurmagomedov in his corner will have a negative impact on his performance? Let us in the comments!