If there were any doubts about Khabib’s commitment to leaving MMA, one need not look any further than a report that emerged over the weekend.
Recently, it was revealed that Khabib Nurmagomedov would be stepping away from MMA to spend more time with his family and attend to matters outside of the sport. The timing was considered curious by some, including Chael P. Sonnen, seeing as how his protégé Islam Makhachev is set to defend his lightweight championship for the first time against Alexander Volkanovski in a matter of weeks at UFC 284.
Khabib Reportedly Will Not Corner Islam Makhachev At UFC 284
Due to such a monumental superfight quickly approaching, it was worth wondering if Khabib would consider delaying his MMA departure until after February 11. However, according to Niko Pajarillo of FOX Sports, Islam Makhachev himself has confirmed that this will not be the case.
“Islam Makhachev has told me Khabib will not corner him at UFC 284 in Perth,” the tweet reads.
While the timing may be questioned by some, it could actually by design.
After all, Khabib’s late father Abnulmanap Nurmagomedov had always planned for him to pass the torch to Makhachev after his son retired. With Makhachev now the world champion, able to speak English fluently enough to handle all of his own media affairs, and with Khabib extremely confident that his protégé will get the victory on February 11, perhaps now is the most fitting time for “The Eagle” to watch his successor fully leave the nest on his own to continue carrying out father’s plan.
Do you think Islam Makhachev will be negatively impacted by Khabib’s absence at UFC 284?