While both men have a lot of different things going on right now, longtime teammates Luke Rockhold and Khabib Nurmagomedov were able to reunite and train together again at the AKA gym in San Jose.
Short clips of their grappling session have been making the rounds on social media, and it shows a much bulkier post-retirement Khabib holding Rockhold down and giving him some problems.
It’s also funny to see their banter as the longterm teammates got to train together again.
“If Sambo was easy… It’d be called Luke Rockhold,” Khabib said with a laugh. “It’s okay. Ask Luke what happened today.”
How well do you think Khabib could do in grappling events? pic.twitter.com/iw6sJJcyJJ
— Bloody Elbow (@BloodyElbow) May 27, 2022
“I just miss you, I hug you brother,” Khabib said on the second training clip that Rockhold posted.
In that clip, Rockhold also talked some smack in return, yelling “keep practicing!” as he managed to get up. Instead of resetting the drill, this only prompted Khabib to continue going after a laughing Rockhold, running over people’s things and taking him down by the edge of the mats.
It’s obviously not wise to make conclusions on training drills that lack context, especially based on very short clips of playful training sessions. That being said, it is entertaining to see Khabib working with a former champion from two divisions higher.
Khabib though, revealed that they aren’t far apart in weight anymore.
“205 vs 210,” Khabib wrote on an Instagram Story about the training video. “If you don’t know, now you know.”
Rockhold has also always given Khabib props through the years.
“I’ve never had a ‘55 pounder come and chase me around the gym and want to grapple me — and actually compete with me! Khabib is a real competition for me in a grappling match,” Rockhold said about Khabib last year. “As opposed to any other ‘55 pounder, most ‘70 pounders, I play with all of them.”
Here’s a longer clip of the duo training together from back in 2014, long before either of them won their respective UFC belts. Watch a 29-year-old former Strikeforce champ in Rockhold prepare for his third UFC bout by grappling with a 25-year-old Khabib below.
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