Khabib Nurmagomedov shocked the world when he announced that he was retiring from MMA, following his most recent win. His coach, Javier Mendez was just as shocked as the fans, but does not plan to try changing his mind.
Heading into UFC 254, many people, including Mendez, were wondering how the loss of Khabib’s father would interfere with his performance. In the end it would make little difference during the bout, as Khabib obliterated Gaethje, winning by second round submission. That being said, Abdulmanap was still on his son’s mind, as the lightweight champion announces that he would be retiring after this fight, saying that fighting without his father is too difficult and that he made a promise to his mother that this would be the end.
Javier Mendez Confirms Khabib’s Retirement
Considering Khabib Nurmagomedov was in the prime of his career, and the champion of the world, many people have been doubtful that this retirement is serious, but his coach, Javier Mendez seems to believe that we have seen the last of Khabib fighting in the Octagon. Speaking in a recent interview, he explained that the news was a shock to him as well, but that he understood where Khabib was coming from. Moreover he says that Nurmagomedov will be continuing to take up a role as a coach for other fighters.
“I learned about it while he was giving the speech. My jaw dropped and I went ‘what?’ He gave the best poker face on the planet,” Mendez laughed. “It very well 100% could be the last time (we see him) as a fighter, but not as a coach. He promised me that he would help me coach his guys together. So when the Eagle’s Team MMA or any of my guys that want his help, that he wants to help, he’s going to be in the corner with me.
“Unless he changes his mind, I personally don’t see the reason why (he would unretire),” Mendez continued. “He’s never been somebody that’s said something and not meant it. For me, I would have to say that part’s done. Sure, anything is possible but as much as the fans and even myself as a coach, I would love to have him back, but no I think he’s done. You’re not going to get me to try to convince him otherwise. If anything I’ll say ‘hey, you said you’re retired, stay retired.'”
Do you think Javier Mendez is right, in that this was the last time Khabib Nurmagomedov will ever fight? Or will he make a comeback for that elusive 30-0 record?