Usman Nurmagomedov was candid about missing Khabib Nurmagomedov as a significant factor in his fighting career.
In October 2020, Khabib Nurmagomedov retired from fighting after defending his UFC lightweight title against Justin Gaethje. ‘The Eagle’ spent the next two years as a coach and training partner for various high-level fighters, including his cousins Usman Nurmagomedov and Umar Nurmagomedov.
At the beginning of 2023, the former UFC lightweight champion announced he was stepping away from MMA to focus on his family and businesses. As a result, fighters like Usman haven’t been able to fully benefit from his powerful influence.
During a recent ESPN MMA interview, Marc Raimondi asked this question to Usman Nurmagomedov:
“You miss him [Khabib Nurmagomedov] being there in the sessions and in the corner?”
The 25-year-old Bellator lightweight champion responded by saying:
“Of course, I miss him a lot, to be honest. I text him every day like, ‘When you come back?’ He tells me, ‘Hey, leave me alone.’
Watch clips of Usman Nurmagomedov talking about Khabib Nurmagomedov below:
Usman Nurmagomedov’s recollection of his text exchanges with Khabib are hilarious pic.twitter.com/8gozKuoINO
— Marc Raimondi (@marcraimondi) September 26, 2023
Usman Nurmagomedov believes Khabib Nurmagomedov won’t return to coaching
Before stepping away in January, Khabib Nurmagomedov had solidified himself as one of the best MMA coaches on the planet. Since then, the MMA community has debated whether or not ‘The Eagle’ will return and continue following in his legendary father’s footsteps.
During the same ESPN MMA interview, Marc Raimondi asked Usman Nurmagomedov the following question about Khabib:
“You think he’ll come back one day? At least as a coach, he’ll come back?”
Usman Nurmagomedov responded by saying:
“No. I know Khabib, and I know him like a brother, like a human who follows his word. If he say something, he follow. This is what I learned for my life now. This is example for me, not only in this sport, in life too. When I see like when he tell something, he always follow his word.”
“I don’t think he’s going to become like coach, corner. Even he don’t come to watch fight in arena. I don’t know why. When I ask him, ‘Hey, you’re gonna be come to watch my fight in arena, just sit in front of Octagon?’ He say, ‘Between me and TV, nobody gonna be sitting brother, believe me.’”
Usman Nurmagomedov holds a professional MMA record of 17-0, including six wins under the Bellator banner. In November 2022, the 25-year-old Russian defeated Patricky Pitbull by unanimous decision to become the Bellator 155-pound king.
Nurmagomedov defended his throne for the first time against Benson Henderson in the Lightweight Grand Prix. As a result, he advanced to the next round for his upcoming fight against Brent Primus on October 7 at Bellator 300.
Watch the entire Usman Nurmagomedov interview with ESPN MMA’s Marc Raimondi below: