The footage from American Kickboxing Academy features retired lightweight champion Nurmagomedov working from side control on top of the larger Rockhold.
Later in the video, Rockhold stands up and attempts to escape only for Nurmagomedov to chase him to a corner and take him down again.
The two can be heard exchanging some friendly banter as well, with Rockhold saying “Don’t get too comfortable Khabib,” and Nurmagomedov responding with “I just miss you, so I hug you, brother.”
Rockhold, the former UFC middleweight champion, is set to make his return to the cage against Paulo Costa at UFC 278 in August. That fight was originally scheduled for UFC 277 on July 30, but Rockhold claims that Costa has been responsible for delaying the fight.
The 37-year-old has been out of action since he moved up to light heavyweight and lost to Jan Blachowciz in 2019. That was his second stoppage loss in a row, and Rockhold is 1-3 overall since winning the UFC middleweight title from Chris Weidman in 2015.
Khabib Nurmagomedov retired in 2020 following his submission win over Justin Gaethje at UFC 254. That was his third defense of the UFC lightweight title that he originally won in 2018. Considered by some to be the best fighter of all time, “The Eagle” retired with a perfect record of 29-0.
Aside from this grappling footage, Nurmagomedov has remained active in the sport with his ownership of the fight promotion Eagle FC. The 33-year-old has been adamant that he’ll remain retired from fighting, although he recently accepted an unofficial offer from UFC lightweight Tony Ferguson to coach The Ultimate Fighter.
What do you think of this grappling footage between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Luke Rockhold?