Khabib’s Coach Shares Conversation About Leaving MMA Entirely

American Kickboxing Academy head coach Javier Mendez was among the first to learn the news of Khabib Nurmagomedov‘s MMA leave.

Nurmagomedov will reportedly leave MMA entirely to focus on time with his family and inner circle. He won’t be in his good friend Islam Makhachev‘s corner when Makhachev faces Alexander Volkanovski at UFC 284.

Since leaving MMA in 2020, Nurmagomedov has coached numerous Dagestani fighters, such as his cousins Umar and Usman. He also cornered Belal Muhammad for Muhammad’s finish of Sean Brady at UFC 280.

Nurmagomedov’s leave from MMA came as a surprise to many in the MMA community, although it wasn’t entirely surprising to those closest to him. Mendez, who coached Nurmagomedov throughout this UFC Hall of Fame career, feels Nurmagomedov’s priorities are in the right place.

Javier Mendez: Khabib Is Adamant About Staying At Home With Family

During a recent interview with Submission Radio, Mendez revealed what he and Nurmagomedov discussed when Nurmagomedov told his future plans.

“I told him to just remember, you can always come back if that’s what you choose to do,” Mendez said of his recent talks with Nurmagomedov. “Just your presence there in the corner with us is a big push for the guys. So, you don’t have to train the guys, you can just show up fight night. But he at the present time is choosing to just stay at home, and be with his family. How can you fight that? There’s really nothing I can say that’s more important than family, so I’m with him 100% on what he wants to do.”

Nurmagomedov’s cousin, Umar, recently pointed out that he expects Khabib’s coaching leave to be short-lived. Umar will return to the Octagon this weekend at UFC Vegas 67.

Nurmagomedov will take time out of the public eye for the first time in years. When he retired from fighting, his presence in the sport was still widely felt by his fighting colleagues and some of the sport’s leaders.

Mendez is keeping the door open to Nurmagomedov eventually returning to cornering fighters, although it seems that Nurmagomedov is confident in his decision to step back.

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