Former UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov retired from MMA after defending his title versus Justin Gaethje last year. And it seems as though ‘The Eagle’ remains content in this decision.
Nurmagomedov has brushed off every advance regarding a possible return and has, instead, appeared totally focused on developing the next crop of Dagestani fighters. At this weekend’s Bellator 263 he lead a cadre of competitors into the cage that included his cousin Usman Nurmagomedov, Khasan Magomedsharipov (brother of Zabit), Islam Mamedov and Gadzhi Rabadanov.
And on this night, all of those fighters got their hands raised in victory. And all of those fighters got TKO finishes, except for Mamedov who took a split decision over former Bellator lightweight champion Brent Primus.
Of those stoppages, Rabadanov’s over Daniel Carey was especially brutal. Check out the video below as Rabadanov drops his opponent with a left hook and then finishes with ground and pound.
Gadzhi Rabadanov got POWER!— BellatorMMA (@BellatorMMA) August 1, 2021
The Khabib protege is certainly a fighter to watch after tonight… #Bellator263 #MMA pic.twitter.com/NglFHgBn9f
Carey needed medical attention after the stoppage and was removed from the cage on a stretcher. Cageside cameras revealed that Nurmagomedov was among those helping to load Carey onto a stretcher.
.@TeamKhabib helped load Daniel Carey onto a stretcher after a vicious KO loss to his pupil Gadzhi Rabadanov. #Bellator263 | More: https://t.co/973hNsZzMH pic.twitter.com/FDbDhT7bRL— MMA Junkie (@MMAjunkie) August 1, 2021
These successes in the Bellator cage further pad Nurmagomedov’s impressive coaching record in 2021. Also this year he watched his cousins Umar Nurmagomedov and Abubakar Nurmagomedov get their first wins in the UFC.
Last month Nurmagomedov cornered his long time friend Islam Makhachev for the main event of UFC Vegas 31. At that event Makhachev confidently dispatched of Thiago Moises to vault up the lightweight rankings and put himself in prime position to challenge the elites of 155 lbs.