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Javier Mendez clears air on Khabib Nurmagomedov's retirement



Khabib Nurmagomedov stunned the mixed martial arts scene earlier this year by officially announcing his retirement from the sport.


The Dagestani announced his retirement from the competition a few years after his successful championship defence against Justin Gaethje in 2019. After finding success in the ring and compiling a 29-0 professional record that has placed him in many people's GOAT conversations, "The Eagle" later demonstrated his coaching abilities in the corner and gym.


However, only a few months after assisting his protege Islam Makhachev in winning the UFC 280 championship in Abu Dhabi, Khabib appeared to hang up his proverbial coaching gloves, expressing a desire to spend more time with his family.


Khabib has been back at the gym helping his cousin Abubakar Nurmagomedov get ready for his upcoming fight against Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos this weekend at UFC Vegas 74, according to Javier Mendez in an interview.


Mendez attempted to clarify Khabib's present situation and attitude towards his engagement in the sport after stating that "The Eagle" wouldn't be returning to the corner for Saturday's contest.


"One thing people don't understand is he never said he wouldn't coach people," Mendez said. "He said he's not gonna be in the corner and travel to fight camps because he's spending time with his family. He never said he wouldn't come and visit here and there, and train the guys. He never said none of that. He's still holding to everything he's ever said."
"He never said never either, so I'm hoping at some point he can come back and help me because him being in the corner is such a huge motivator for the guys and me," Mendez explained. "Then my job's easier. I don't have to worry about hardly anything. I just sit in the backseat and let him drive because he's a hell of a driver."

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