Cassius Life Featured Video
UFC 280: Open Workouts

Source: Chris Unger / Getty

Khabib Nurmagomedov retired from mixed martial arts three years ago with an undefeated record and is the longest-reigning UFC Lightweight Champion in the organization’s history. But after turning his energy towards coaching, “The Eagle” hinted that the chapter may soon be a thing of the past.

“The year certainly turned out to be a very busy and successful. Take care of yourself brothers,” Nurmagomedov wrote on his Instagram last Friday. “I hope my decision is only for the best, a big hug to you all. Thank you, you were a big reason for my success in sports.”

However, the most followed Russian athlete on Instagram gave clues that he was only dabbling with a long-term coaching career. “[W]hen my brothers fight, since I have a lot of experience in the octagon, I can give good advice, especially when it’s guys that you grew up with and know well,” Nurmagomedov said in an interview with RT Sport MMA two years ago.

“You know their strengths and weaknesses, how they match up against their opponent. I’ll be doing that in the future. But to go to a gym [of my own]… I don’t think it’d be right for me to be just a coach,” he added. “I can do so much more.”

Now at 34 years old, with two sons and a daughter of his own, Nurmagomedov seems ready to embark on a simpler way of life away from the octagon. Javier Mendez, Khabib Nurmagomedov’s former coach at American Kickboxing Academy, told Yahoo Sports that his famous protégé spoke with him prior to going public with the news.

“He just doesn’t want to miss being a father,” Mendez shared with the outlet. “He talked to me about three weeks ago and told me of his plan and said he planned to talk to the team and inform them of his decision. He’s doing this for the right reasons. He’s a family man, and he simply wants to spend more time with his family.”