Coach Khabib? Undefeated former fighter Nurmagomedov works the corner as his cousin Abubakar grabs his first ever UFC win on the Ngannou v Miocic undercard in Las Vegas
Khabib Nurmagomedov helped coach his cousin Abubakar to his first ever UFC victory on the Francis Ngannou v Stipe Miocic undercard in Las Vegas on Saturday.
Legendary undefeated fighter Khabib, who went 29-0 in a glittering career, retired in October 2020 after beating Justin Gaethje, a decision finally accepted by UFC president Dana White on March 19.
The 32-year-old Russian therefore relinquished the UFC lightweight title, but has swiftly moved on to coaching roles and was in another cousin’s corner as Abubakar beat Jared Gooden at UFC 260 to secure his first ever win in the championship.
Khabib Nurmagomedov (right) helped cousin Abubakar (centre) grab his first ever UFC win
Khabib was in Abubakar’s corner as he beat Jared Gooden by unanimous decision on Saturday
Umar was fighting on the undercard of Francis Ngannou (right) and Stipe Miocic (left) in Vegas
Abubakar (15-3-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC) dominated Jared Gooden (17-6 MMA, 0-2 UFC) on the floor and on his feet throughout to win by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) in his first in-cage fight since November 2019, when he lost to David Zawada.
Round 1 was punctuated by several fouls, but Nurmagomedov edged it with his striking and comfortably won Round 2 after a strong punch on a clinch break.
Abubakar achieved a takedown in Round 3, dragging fellow sophomore Gooden to the canvas and remained on top from there with his opponent unable to get back up.
He was also in the corner for cousin Umar on Fight Island in January as he beat Sergey Morozov
The Russian has also been helping Luke Rockhold (left) train ahead of his UFC comeback
Khabib has been linked with a move to WWE, with wrestler Drew McIntyre backing him to make the switch given his clear talent.
But Sportsmail reported this week that Khabib had fuelled further speculation of becoming a serious trainer by helping American Kickboxing Academy team-mate Luke Rockhold return to the Octagon as well as aiding his relatives.
As well as Abubakar, Khabib was in the corner for another cousin, Umar, at Fight Island earlier this year as he made a winning start to his UFC career against Sergey Morozov.
The 32-year-old retired in October 2020 after going 29-0 across a glittering undefeated career
UFC president Dana White (left) accepted his decision on March 19 and Khabib vacated his title
Rockhold told TMZ: ‘He’s going for the ‘Coach of the Year.’ That’s what he wants. He wants to be the next great thing, following in his dad’s footsteps.’
‘That’s what his dad always did. His dad was always insightful, and always had a good eye for the sport … and Khabib’s ready to assume that role in fatherhood.’
Khabib’s father Abdulmanap was a highly respected combat sports coach and trained his son throughout his career, but sadly passed away in July 2020 after contracting Covid-19.