UFC legend Khabib Nurmagomedov has been touted as the “greatest coach of all time” by American Kickboxing Academy head coach Javier Mendez.
The Dagestani fighter hung up his gloves in March 2021 after a brilliant career that saw him go undefeated while defending his UFC lightweight title multiple times.
Despite retiring from fighting, the Russian is an active fight promoter and becomes very active in the coaching portion of the sport, and he has been instrumental in helping the next generation of Russian and Dagestani fighters in both UFC and Bellator.
UFC icon Khabib Nurmagomedov has started coaching fighters since his retirement in March 2021
His coaching reputation is starting to see him become popular with old teammates and non-Russian fighters like Luke Rockhold and new fighters like Belal Muhammad.
At UFC 280, Islam Makhachev will fight after being coached by Nurmagomedov, the pair also spent some time training partners before retiring.
Makhachev will face Charles Oliveira for the undisputed Lightweight title, and if he wins, it would mean Nurmagomedov will have secured his first UFC title as a coach in less than two years after his retirement.
Nurmagomedov will be with Islam Makhachev (pictured) for his fight against Charles Oliveira
Javier Mendez (right) believes Nurmagomedov is on track to become the best coach in MMA
American Kickboxing Academy head coach Javier Mendez believes there is no limit to the 34-year-old’s coaching potential.
He said on the UFC unfiltered podcast: ‘He has always coached. Even when he was fighting, he was coaching.
“He was going to spar through these five rounds and all of a sudden he was sitting there with us coaching the guys.
Mendez says Nurmagomedov (pictured) learned to coach from him and his father
“He’s been doing that forever. His father had trained him from such a young age to take over the responsibility, as a fighter, as a coach, and he is following in his father’s footsteps.
“He learned from me, he learned from his father, especially his father. But for me he’s on track, in my opinion, because of his age, what he’s doing, the camp I see, the fighters he’s got, he’s on his way to becoming the best coach of all time, in my opinion.
‘I see. I see the writing on the wall.’
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