There is six days left before the title fight between Russian Khabib Nurmagomedov and American Dustin Porrier, which will be held in Abu Dhabi as part of the UFC 242 tournament. Both rivals have already arrived in the United Arab Emirates and have begun the final stage of preparation.
If Porrier tries not to disclose the details of his training process, the holder of the lightweight champion belt actively communicates with reporters on this subject, demonstrating the form in which he approaches the second defense of the title. So, Nurmagomedov conducted one of the classes together with his teammates under the guidance of his father and coach Abdulmanap. Athletes held an individual warm-up, and then went into the octagon to practice strikes and combat development options.
Nurmagomedov - the senior was pleased with the conditions provided. According to him, the organizers did everything possible to ensure the most comfortable training process.
“We were met here very well and cordially. Everything is enough to organize training: there is a carpet, a net, an octagon, and treadmills. Ideal conditions, ”said the mentor in an interview with Youtube channel Anatomy of a Fighter.
The athlete himself has repeatedly stated how important his father’s presence is at the UFC 242 tournament. The specialist was not able to control the final stage of his son’s preparation for last year’s duel with Irish Conor McGregor due to the fact that he was denied a U.S. visa.
One of the mentors of Habib, the head coach of the American Kickboxing Academy (AKA) Javier Mendes, spoke about the role that Nurmagomedov Sr. plays in the life of an athlete. He admitted that he feels a deep respect for the specialist.
“This person is a true professional, and it was an honor from the very beginning to watch him. He is the boss, the number one coach for Habib, I am only the second. He became what he is, precisely because of his father. And a little help, strengthening the foundation. Yes, in Russia Abdulmanap is well known, but not in the USA. However, I have always been aware of his greatness, ”said the specialist.
He also noted the hospitality with which the Nurmagomedov team was met in the UAE capital.
“Here everyone is very hospitable, this is incredible. They treat you as if you were special, like a family member. It always happens when I come here. Would I like to come back? Of course, who would not want to be in the family circle again? ”Mendes admitted.
The attention of fighters in the last days before the main fight of the year is traditionally focused on weight loss. To do this, they follow a special diet and strictly monitor the load.
“After a good training with the brothers, as always, there were sparks in the hall. If anything, Zubayra Tukhugov is also on a diet, but which of us needs to get rid of more, we have not yet found out, ”Nurmagomedov wrote on Instagram.
View this Instagram post
Posted by Khabib Nurmagomedov (@khabib_nurmagomedov) Aug 31, 2019 at 9:25 am PDT
The fact that inside the training camp under the leadership of Mendes a friendly atmosphere and mutual respect reign, say the statements of the fighters themselves. So, Nurmagomedov more than once spoke warmly about another colleague, former UFC light heavy and heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier. Commenting on the possibility of a third battle between the American and Stipe Miocic, the Russian expressed the hope that Cormier would get a chance for revenge.
“We sympathize with him, but we know that he is a real fighter. I would like to wish him good luck. We talked with him a few days ago. They talked about my fight, about his fight, about his father, I tried to encourage him. Now it’s not easy for him, but time heals. I am sure everything will be fine with him, ”MMA Fighting quotes Nurmagomedov.
The UFC 242 tournament caused a huge stir among fans of mixed martial arts. For fans who personally decided to support the Russian in Abu Dhabi, a special stand was prepared on which you can buy a hat - a hat that has become a real calling card of a native of Dagestan.
View this Instagram post
Posted by Khabib Nurmagomedov (@khabib_nurmagomedov) Aug 31, 2019 at 2:53 am PDT
The day before, talking with representatives of the media, Nurmagomedov touched on the topic of retirement. He stressed that he did not intend to leave the sport, however, this could happen at any time. At the same time, the fighter continues to reflect on the topic of who can become his rival after the battle with Porrier. According to him, the most preferred option is former two-time UFC welterweight champion Georges Saint-Pierre.
“Imagine a battle taking place in Montreal at the 55,000th stadium. Or in Moscow in an arena with a capacity of 80 thousand people. I think the duel should take place either in Canada or in Russia. 100% sure that we will fill the stands. Saint Pierre is a famous fighter, I am a champion. Why not? We can do everything. This is the UFC, not NBA or football. I am against Georges Saint-Pierre - a similar poster opens up any possibilities. But this will not work with Dustin Porier or Tony Ferguson, ”ESPN quotes Nurmagomedov.