Khabib Nurmagomedov certainly knows how to celebrate a UFC title win in style after he was joined by his coach, Javier Mendez, and several of his teammates for a feast in the days after his title defense against Justin Gaethje.
Nurmagomedov announced his retirement from mixed martial arts in the moments following his 29th successive career win opposite American Gaethje on ‘Fight Island’ in Abu Dhabi last month, and now that his weight-cutting days are apparently behind him the Russian superstar isn’t afraid to indulge in the type of feast usually unavailable to high-level prizefighters.
A video post uploaded to the Instagram account of American Kickboxing Academy head Javier Mendez shows Nurmagomedov, along with several members of his family and team, tucking in to a bountiful meal.
Joining Khabib at the dining table are his cousins Umar and Abubakar, as well as UFC fighter Zubaira Tukhugov and the 12-1 flyweight Tagir Ulanbekov.
However, a cheeky Khabib seems to suggest in the video that Mendez, the man who has helped guide the Russian to the UFC title, must first cut 7 kilos (15.4lbs) before he is allowed to dine.
“You have to cut 7 kilos,” Khabib tells Mendez in the video, suggesting that he needs to lose weight. “It’s almost 15lbs.
“But tonight, forget about that,” he concedes moments later.
Since the moment he announced his retirement at UFC 254, speculation has mounted as to whether or not Khabib could be tempted back to the organization for one final fight in search of an unprecedented 30-0 record.
Nurmagomedov had appeared open to a potential fight with fellow UFC icon Georges St-Pierre, but revealed in the cage in Abu Dhabi that he had given his mother his word that he would not continue to fight in the absence of his father and trainer, Abdulmanap, who passed away in July after suffering complications from COVID-19.
UFC boss Dana White revealed recently that he had a ‘feeling’ that Khabib could be persuaded to take on one more athletic challenge before hanging up his gloves, also stating that the Russian fighter remains the UFC’s 155lbs champion.
Khabib, meanwhile, has given little indication that he would consider another mixed martial arts bout – after he accomplished his goal of being listed as the UFC’s top pound-for-pound fighter in the their recently issued rankings.