Islam Makhachev and Khabib Nurmagomedov
Islam Makhachev and Khabib Nurmagomedov | Photo by GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP via Getty Images

Khabib Nurmagomedov is back! Well, sort of.

Widely considered the greatest lightweight of all time, Nurmagomedov retired from MMA in 2020 following the death of his father, Abdulmanap. After retiring, Nurmagomedov focused on continuing his father’s legacy through coaching, however, in recent years, Nurmagomedov even took a step back from that, working with his friend and teammate Islam Makhachev, but no longer cornering him during fights. However, that changes this weekend.

On Saturday, Makhachev puts his lightweight title on the line against Dustin Poirier in the main event of UFC 302 in Newark, NJ, and when he does, Nurmagomedov will be right there with him.

“Eagle has landed in Jersey City,” Makhachev told UFC officials while signing fight posters. “He’s going to be in my corner. Honestly, I’m very happy because he’s one of the best corner coaches, brother, friend. That’s it.”

Nurmagomedov last cornered Makhachev when he won the UFC lightweight title with a submission finish of Charles Oliveira at UFC 280. Following that win, Nurmagomedov helped Makhachev cut a promo for a pound-for-pound battle with then-featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski.

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