- Khabib Nurmagomedov jokingly told Islam Makhachev that he felt like he aged a lot due to nervousness while watching UFC 284
- “The Eagle” will still be supporting Makhachev but won’t travel with the team on a regular basis
Khabib Nurmagomedov wasn’t there to corner Islam Makhachev at UFC 284. However, he ensured his pupil learn about how he felt watching the fight from another part of the world.
Khabib was stressed
Nurmagomedov has been mentoring Makhachev since Day 1 so, it was a bit of a shock when “The Eagle” did not join the team to Australia. However, Makhachev revealed that right after he beat Alexander Volkanovski, Nurmagomedov spoke to him.
“He told me he was so nervous,” Makhachev said during his UFC 284 press conference. “And he said, ‘Why are you doing this, this, this this?’ If you come too and if you were my corner, I can do this. But you didn’t come.”
Fortunately for the fans, the exact moment when Nurmagomedov and Makhachev spoke via a video call was captured backstage moments after the fight. In it, Nurmagomedov jokingly told his successor that he felt like he aged a lot while watching the fight.
“Well, you’re the pound-for-pound king,” Khabib said.
“If only you were here — it would be much easier for me,” Makhachev replied. “It’s not like I fought a random guy, he’s the best fighter in the world. I’ll see you soon.”
“I aged 50 years because of you,” Nurmagomedov answered.
Islam was getting a daily dose of advice from Khabib
Weeks before UFC 284, Nurmagomedov suddenly backed out from coaching Makhachev because of personal and family matters. However, the reigning lightweight champ revealed that even though Khabib wasn’t there, he regularly received some pointers from his mentor heading into the fight.
It is yet to be determined whether Nurmagomedov will ever return full-time. However, Eagle FC president Shamil Zavurov previously said that “The Eagle” would still support the team but wouldn’t be always there to travel with them during competitions.
Makhachev, meanwhile, will be waiting for the UFC’s decision as his next lightweight title fight is something a majority of the fans will look forward to now that he is already the UFC’s pound-for-pound king.
All quotes via MMA Mania.