Khabib Nurmagomedov’s trainer unsure how ‘emotional decision’ to retire will pan out in future

Khabib retired from MMA immediately after his win over Justin Gaethje last weekend
Khabib retired from MMA immediately after his win over Justin Gaethje last weekend (Twitter: @ESPNStatsInfo)
17:35pm, Wed 28 Oct 2020
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Khabib Nurmagomedov’s trainer has revealed he is unsure whether the Russian will stick with his decision to retire from the sport.

The 32 year-old choked out Justin Gaethje in the second round at UFC 254 last weekend to move to 29-0 as a professional, before announcing in the post-fight press conference that it would be the last bout of his career.

Khabib said the reason behind him hanging up his gloves was the death of his father and trainer Abdulmanap, who passed away earlier this year.

The MMA legend also told fans he had promised his mother the Gaethje fight would be his last.

However, his trainer Javier Mendez, who was not aware Khabib planned to announce his retirement, still has some doubts about the state of mind he was in straight after his victory.

Khabib’s father passed away in July from complications relating to coronavirus (Tass/PA Images)

"I had no idea, he never said anything to me, so I was just like everyone else. But hey, you know what, I understood the father burden was too much," he told The Sun.

 "If his mother sees that he can continue and that Khabib did actually want to continue then she may say go and fulfil your father's legacy and go 30-0.

"I don't know, but when I was present he'd always say, 'Why do you guys talk about retirement, I'm only 32'. So how is it that all of a sudden you're retired? What else can explain why? His emotions.

"He was very emotional, to me if he does retire, like I said it doesn't matter we're still there for him, but if he doesn't, I'm there as his coach too.

"If he's retired, I'm not going to say, ‘Are you sure?’

"I'm not going to say anything, but it was an emotional decision by far and I can't tell you if he's done or not - what I can tell you was it was an emotional decision."

Khabib was elevated to No 1 in the UFC’s pound-for-pound list earlier this week and will go down as one of the greatest fighters of all-time.

His most high-profile win came back in October 2018 when he made Irishman Conor McGregor submit after a dominant display over four rounds.

Khabib also boasts wins over the likes of Dustin Poirier, Edson Barboza and Michael Johnson.

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