Khabib pays touching tribute to UFC coach Javier Mendez and reveals he was 'inspiration' after retirement

KHABIB NURMAGOMEDOV has penned a heartfelt tribute to his long-time American Kickboxing Academy coach following his retirement.

The undefeated lightweight champion stretched his MMA record to an incredible 29-0 with his second-round submission victory at UFC 254 on Saturday.

That feat was even more remarkable as the Russian revealed he suffered a broken toe and badly bruised foot just over a fortnight before the clash.

Afterwards he vowed to keep a promise to his mother that it would be his final fight following the recent death of his father and trainer Abdulmanap earlier this summer.

Now he has taken to social media to thank his AKA coach Javier Mendez, saying: “Our connection will forever be fixed in my heart coach, you was a great inspiration for me always, since the first days I came to AKA. Love you coach.”

That followed Mendez’s own tribute to the superstar earlier in the week.

He said: “You came into my life in 2012, now your in my life for life.

“[A] coach and a fighter’s relationship, only a coach and the fighter can really understand.

“But love, respect and true loyalty, the whole world understands and [Khabib Nurmagomedov] you are all of that and more.”

Khabib, who received a hefty £4.6million for the win, also added to his ever-increasing fan base with his decision to choke out Gaethje.

Former UFC heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier, who trained regularly with him, says he applied the triangle choke that won him the fight after opting against an arm-bar.

That was because he did not want to inflict unnecessary pain on his opponent in front of the American's watching parents.

Khabib broke down afterwards as he fell to his knees before pointing to the sky and seemingly paying tribute to his late dad, who trained him since he was aged three, before announcing he was retiring.

Source: Read Full Article