UFC lightweight GOAT turned MMA coach Khabib Nurmagomedov has revealed that he doesn’t miss fighting because ‘it was never inside my heart’.
Nurmagomedov, widely considered one of the greatest fighters of all time, retired in 2020 following the death of his father, Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov, who coached him from an early age in Dagestan.
The undefeated Russian, who retired a perfect 29-0 with three title defenses under his belt, once again reiterated his desire to stay retired despite repeated calls for him to make a comeback and reclaim his lightweight championship.
“Honestly no [I don’t miss it],” Nurmagomedov told The Muslim Money Guys in a recent interview (h/t BJPenn.com). “When I miss something like competition, I go to the gym and wrestle, grapple, train. I spend my energy there. Like comeback? Go to the cage? No, I don’t miss it.”
“Because all my life, it was on my hands, not inside my heart. It was never inside my heart. Of course I like it, you have to love what you’re doing. I was a very big fan of sports because my goal was to become the best, to become the champion like everybody has to do. But when I’m finished, I’m finished.”
“It’s easy. It’s very easy [to walk away],” he added. “If it’s inside your heart, to leave this alone it’s very hard. It was inside my heart. Now finished, I go do other things. Nothing [would make me return]. Never. I leave this sport alone, without myself. There is always going to be some champion without my name, too. It’s going to be Charles Oliveira, it’s going to be Islam [Makhachev] or another name after Islam because Islam is not going to be there all his life. Short time, a couple of years, finished.”
“This is a high-level sport. I was champion. Right now, I’m not champion and this is normal. You can never be champion all like seven years, eight years. There is a couple of years, that’s your prime time. Finished, bye-bye. You can stay just to make money but you’ll never be champion.”
Since retiring in 2020, Khabib has shifted his attention toward coaching, following in the footsteps of his father. He is the coach and mentor of No. 4-ranked lightweight Islam Makhachev, who has promised ‘more title defenses’ than Khabib and a move up to welterweight if he defeats Charles Oliveira at UFC 280.
That PPV, which features Oliveira vs. Makhachev as the main event, takes place tomorrow afternoon at Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
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