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Khabib Nurmagomedov retires from MMA coaching to ‘spend more time with his family’

The former UFC lightweight champion shared an Instagram post that suggested he was leaving the sport. 

UFC 280: Oliveira v Makhachev Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

After a successful year of coaching that saw him create several new champions, Khabib Nurmagomedov appears to have announced his retirement from mixed martial arts coaching.

The former UFC lightweight champion shared an Instagram post that suggested he was leaving the sport.

“The year certainly turned out to be a very busy and successful,” Nurmagomedov’s post read. “Take care of yourself brothers. I hope my decision is only for the best, a big hug to you all. Thank you, you were a big reason for my success in sports.”

The news was later confirmed by Russian state-affiliated media Tass.ru, which added that Nurmagomedov wanted to spend more time with his family.

“Khabib left the MMA industry,| sources told Tass.ru. “He will no longer train, will not be present with the team at the training camp. This is done to spend more time with his family.”

Shami Zavurov, Nurmaogmedov’s cousin and fellow pro fighter, also hinted that the former champion had retired from coaching.

“He’s left this sport, but the sport spirit will never leave him,” Zavurov wrote on Instagram.

Nurmagomedov retired from MMA competition in October 2020 following a submission victory against Justin Gaethje at UFC 254 in Abu Dhabi. The Dagestani native retired with a perfect 29-0 record and with three successful title defences under his belt.

Over the next two years, Nurmogmedov poured himself into other MMA-related roles, including as the founder of Eagle FC and as a coach for his teammates. HIs efforts resulted in Islam Makhachev securing the UFC lightweight title, and Usman Nurmagomedov winning the Bellator lightweight title.

About the author: Karim Zidan is an investigative reporter for Bloody Elbow focusing on the intersection of sports and politics. His work is also a contributor to The New York Times and The Guardian. (full bio)