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Javier Mendez ‘100 percent with’ Khabib Nurmagomedov on quitting MMA coaching role

Javier Mendez supports Khabib Nurmagomedov’s decision to retire from coaching.

UFC 219: Cyborg v Holm
Khabib Nurmagomedov with head coach Javier Mendez.
Photo by Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

American Kickboxing Academy’s Javier Mendez thinks Khabib Nurmagomedov is leaving MMA for the right reasons.

The former UFC lightweight champion who retired with a perfect 29-0 record announced earlier this week that he would be stepping away from mixed martial arts coaching to spend more time with his family.

This time around, Mendez was given three weeks' notice of Khabib’s decision to retire, unlike his previous retirement which caught just about everybody — including Mendez — by surprise.

“Yes, he (Khabib Nurmagoemdov) told me, unlike the last time when he promised his mother that he would retire from competition and I was not aware of it, this one here, he informed me about three weeks out that this is what he was gonna do,” Mendez told Submission Radio. “He wants to spend time with his family, and I one hundred per cent I’m with him on what he wants to do and the reasons why he wants to do it.”

Mendez added that while Khabib has not ruled out a return to coaching, he believes that it will be a while before he decides to do so.

“There’s no legit reasons more than family for him and giving them what they deserve, the time, you know, while they’re young,” Mendez explained. “And he never said forever, but there’s gonna be a while though I would imagine. Unless something happens where he really misses that and he really feels he’s needed. But right now, I think everybody is good with his decision and very happy for him.”

Khabib’s decision to step away from MMA marks the end of a highly successful career in which he amassed an undefeated record and defeated some of the biggest names in the sport, including Conor McGregor, Dustin Poirier, and Justin Gaethje.

On top of his UFC career, Khabib also made a huge impact in the world of coaching, guiding Islam Makhachev to become the UFC lightweight champion and Umar Nurmagomedov to win the Bellator lightweight title. His presence in MMA will be sorely missed.