The era of Khabib Nurmagomedov has come to an end as the unbeaten lightweight champion announced retirement after UFC 254. Khabib put on the best performance of his career at UFC 254 and dominated Justin Gaethje on every aspect of the fight.
It was a flawless performance from the greatest lightweight champion. However, the training camp did not go as expected for Khabib Nurmgaomedov.
AKA’s head coach, Javier Mendez gave some insights to Yahoo Sports on Khabib’s training camp for UFC 254. Mendez stated:
“This was the worst camp we’ve ever had in the sense of preparation. Accommodations were the best ever, hospitality was the best ever. But we had so much bad luck.”
As per Mendez, Khabib had mumps two weeks before the training camp. He even suffered a broken toe during sparring. Coach Mendez said he was concerned about going into the fight that these setbacks might affect Khabib’s performance. However, what Khabib said to assure his coach amidst all this craziness is nothing but inspiring to his fans.
“There was staph infection with a lot of the guys and the mumps. Khabib had the mumps two weeks going into [training camp] and I was like ‘oh my God, I’m so concerned.’ He trained one week really light and then the following week he broke his toe next to the pinky toe. Because of the broken toe, we were again out. But Khabib said ‘coach, my toe may be broken but my mind is not.’ I said I know and that’s when I knew he was going to fight through all of this adversity no matter what.” said Coach Mendez.
Is Khabib Nurmagomedov the Greatest of all Time?
Khabib Nurmagomedov has the perfect career in the cruelest sports in the world. He fought the best fighters this generation had to offer and conquered them with ease. What more is there for this bigger than life superstar to achieve?
Khabib is without a doubt the greatest lightweight of all time. However, it won’t be convincing if we call him the greatest of all time. Legends such as Georges St-Pierre and Jon Jones should be in the mix when we try to conclude the GOAT in MMA.
But, Khabib Nurmagomedov could have achieved the GOAT status if he had moved up to welterweight and won the title. He will widely be considered the GOAT if he comes back to the octagon and beats GSP.
Nevertheless, the legacy that Khabib leaves behind him is something that the fans will never see again. He is a true martial artist and a role model for the fighters of generations to come.