Khabib Nurmagomedov Returns To UFC As Cornerman For UFC 302

Photo: Instagram/Khabib Nurmagomedov

After a two-year hiatus, UFC legend Khabib Nurmagomedov is making a return to the sport this Saturday night. The former lightweight champion will be in the corner for Islam Makhachev at UFC 302 as he defends his lightweight belt against Dustin Poirier.

Nurmagomedov, who has stayed away from coaching since early last year, has continued to support close teammates like his cousin Usman Nurmagomedov. This will be his first appearance in the octagon as a cornerman since his break from the sport.

Islam Makhachev, set for a potentially historic third title defense, confirmed in a video that Khabib will be by his side. "Eagle has landed in Jersey City," Makhachev said. "He’s going to be in my corner. Honestly, I’m very happy because he’s one of the best corner coaches, brother, friend."

Photo: Instagram/Khabib Nurmagomedov

If Makhachev wins against Poirier, he will join the ranks of Khabib Nurmagomedov, Benson Henderson, BJ Penn, and Frankie Edgar, tying the record for the most lightweight title defenses. Khabib, who retired in 2020 at the peak of his career, believes Makhachev can go even further.

“Islam is feeling very good, honestly very sharp. This is a very important fight for him. This is his third title defense, very, very close to breaking the record for all-time lightweight defense. He’s very close,” Nurmagomedov told UFC Embedded cameras.

Both Makhachev and Nurmagomedov often pay tribute to Khabib’s late father, Abdulmanap, who passed away in 2020. Makhachev credits much of his success to Abdulmanap’s guidance, saying, “I gave the belt to Khabib because I know who made me. Him and his father.”

Fans eagerly await UFC 302 to see if Makhachev can defend his title and make history with Khabib back in his corner.

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Source: Bloody Elbow 


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