UFC icon Khabib Nurmagomedov is walking away from MMA completely and will leave his coaching role.
The former lightweight champion retired from fighting in October 2020, finishing on top of the game with a submission victory over Justin Gaethje to retain his championship.
He soon enough transitioned to the world of coaching and promotion with his company Eagle FC.
UFC fans soon came to realise that Khabib as a coach may be just as dangerous as a competitor as he was instrumental in current lightweight champion Islam Makhachev’s rise.
However, the undefeated fighter hinted at the fact that he would be stepping away from the sport for the time being.
In an Instagram post on Friday (January 6) he wrote: “Take care of yourself, brothers. I hope my decision is only for the best, a big hug to you all.
“Thank you, you were a big reason for my success in sports.”
Javier Mendez, Khabib’s trainer and fellow coach at the American Kickboxing Academy provided more of an insight into Nurmagomedov’s decision.
He told Yahoo Sports: “He just doesn't want to miss being a father.
"He talked to me about three weeks ago and told me of his plan and said he planned to talk to the team and inform them of his decision.
“He's doing this for the right reasons. He's a family man and he simply wants to spend more time with his family."
The former fighter has two boys and a girl now and has had to spend a lot of time away from them throughout his MMA career.
Khabib also lost his father Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov in July 2020, a man that he learned a lot from in his journey to becoming one of the best pound-for-pound fighters.
Mendez added: “Khabib learned so much from his father and from me and some of the other great coaches he worked with, and his guys have learned so much from him.
“He instilled the things he learned from his father in the new generation and you can see the impact.
“Is he going to be missed? Absolutely. Will it negatively affect the team? That remains to be seen, but given what a great job he’s done coaching his cousins and the others on the team, I think they’re ready to move forward and continue his legacy.”
Khabib’s protege Makhachev is set to defend his lightweight title against Alexander Volkanovski at UFC 284 in perhaps his toughest test to date.
It is unclear whether Nurmagomedov will travel to Perth to be in the Russian’s corner.
Featured Image Credit: Jason Silva / Alamy. REUTERS / Alamy.