Khabib Nurmagomedov went out of his way to congratulate Jan Blachowicz on his victory against Israel Adesanya at UFC 259, crediting the reigning UFC light heavyweight champion for utilizing his wrestling in the later rounds to tip the scorecards in his favor.
Nurmagomedov, who cornered Islam Makhachev to victory against Drew Dober on the UFC 259 main card, shook Blachowicz’ hand backstage and congratulated the Pole on his biggest victory to date.
“Thank you for the support,” Blachowicz told Nurmagomedov backstage at the UFC Apex center. “I appreciate it.”
“It was a great fight,” Nurmagomedov replied. “Great takedowns. You know why you won? Takedown to wrestling, wrestling is power.”
Nurmagomedov retired following his submission win over Justin Gaethje at UFC 254, but UFC president Dana White is adamant that the Dagestani will return to the octagon for his 30th fight.
Khabib, however, claims he is finished with the sport for good.
“My mother is the most precious thing I have left,” Nurmagomedov told Russian news outlet Sport24 earlier this year (h/t BJPenn.com). “Come on, you won’t push me to do things that will disappoint my mother.
“I have left it behind,” he added. “Don’t torment me, let me enjoy what I have for today. And just so you know, I’ve sacrificed a lot to get to this level.”
Despite his retirement in October, White has yet to relieve Khabib of the lightweight title and still has him ranked No. 1 in the pound-for-pound rankings.