Luke Rockhold is set to make his return and could have a new cornerman.
For months now, Rockhold has been teasing a return and he says he will likely fight again in the summer. When he does, he says his AKA teammate in Khabib Nurmagomedov has been bugging him to corner him as he wants to be the Coach of the Year.
“He’s assuming this coaching role now. He’s going off on me, wanting to coach me. He wants to be a big part of my comeback so it’s pretty funny to see Khabib assume this role,” Rockhold told TMZ Sports. “He’s going for Coach of the Year. That’s what he wants. He wants to be the next great thing, follow in his dad’s footsteps. That’s what his dad always did. His dad was always insightful and always had a good eye for the sport and I think Khabib is ready to assume that role.”
Nurmagomedov has been coaching and cornering a lot of his Dagestan family and friends for a long time. However, with him now retiring, he is pursuing coaching more and wants to help Luke Rockhold in his pursuit of reclaiming UFC gold.
“Of course he can be a good coach. It’s like, sometimes you have to put yourself aside,” Rockhold said. “Even if you know a lot, it’s better to be guided, like a mindless training if you trust in your coach, someone to direct you and put you in the right way, because no matter how much you know, sometimes you’ve got to step back and let somebody else direct the situation.
“He knows how to press the pace. The thing with Khabib, he always pressed,” Rockhold continued. “The first day he showed up I was like, I like this kid. The first day he showed up by himself and I was like, he works hard. I was like, come with me, let’s do this, and he always pressed me to my limit. That’s what it really takes. You need someone to get on your back, press you, and he knows all the techniques and the routes to do so.”
Cole Shelton covers MMA for BJPenn.com, MMANews, and MyMMANews.com while also being the lead MMA odds writer for Sports Betting Dime