If he is not unanimous as a GOAT in his discipline, Khabib Nurmagomedov is in any case among the main candidates for this title. According to a UFC star, this would not be the only common point he has with Michael Jordan!
In recent days, it is mainly thanks to the coaching label of Islam Makhachev, the new lightweight champion, that he has received the compliments of the planet fight. However, Khabib Nurmagomedov saw other colts shine at UFC 280. Belal Muhammad, who recently joined his team to improve, thus triumphed over Sean Brady via TKO, before being warmly congratulated by his new coach :
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) October 22, 2022
The big similarity between Khabib and Michael Jordan
A recognized figure at welterweight, and undefeated for nine fights, Muhammad was often criticized for his style considered boring. He who has only won his victories so far by decision, however, sent his last opponent to the ground, thanks to the advice of Khabib. He therefore praised the latter in an interview for TMZ Sportsand revealed his training methods… worthy of Michael Jordan :
These guys train differently. It’s all about the hard work we do. It’s on another level. Khabib, as a coach, he is like a tyrant. He’s like Michael Jordan was with his teammates who hated him, when he just wanted to get the best out of them. That’s what Khabib is also looking for. He wants to make the most of your abilities.
A revelation which is not necessarily surprising, since the Eagle had already made it clear that he made MJ an inspiration. The legacy of His Airness therefore serves him in his new role as coach, where he is visibly uncompromising with his students, including Muhammad. The American-Palestinian illustrated this well in the rest of his speech, where he compares Khabib to his protege Islam Makhachev:
They are similar in many aspects. On the other hand, when you are facing Khabib, he will do everything to drown you. He wants you to suffer. Islam, he will rather try to get you out of trouble. He has a heart. He will stop before it becomes unbearable for you. Khabib is more the type to be happy and smile when he sees you in pain.
Success definitely owes nothing to chance, and this is transcribed in the similar approach that Michael Jordan and Khabib Nurmagomedov can have vis-à-vis training. Belal Muhammad is now well placed to know!