Khabib Nurmagomedov has paid a visit to Mecca. The former UFC lightweight champion is a practising Muslim who visits the holy city every year.

Last year he took a trip to Mecca in November and this year he has made the journey slightly earlier. The retired mixed martial artist is seen as a role model by Muslims all over the world and takes his religion very seriously.

He posted a photo of himself at the Great Mosque of Mecca:

Pound for pound

Khabib also offered an explanation of what the place means to him and why he makes the trip every year,

“For me, Mecca is like a river, where you can take a bath and get pure. After all, all servants of Almighty need purification of soul more than anything else. May Allah forgive us and guide us to the right path.”

He retired from competitive MMA in 2020 after beating Justin Gaethje at UFC 254. At the time Khabib was the promotion’s lightweight champion and pound for pound king with a 29-0 record.

Fighters who retire while still at their peak very seldom stay retired. But Khabib promised his mother it would be his final fight and has proved as good as his word.

Tragic death 

Khabib would probably have continued competing had it not been for the death of his father who was also his coach. Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov died after contracting Covid-19 in 2020.

It was a devastating loss for the mixed martial artist who decided he did not want to continue competing without his father in his corner. But Khabib remains extremely active in the sport of MMA.

He is the promoter of Eagle FC, Khabib  purchased Gorilla FC in 2020 for a reported $1 million and rebranded it. There have been 13 events in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and the US.

He currently coaches Islam Makhachev who will challenge Charles Oliveira for the vacant lightweight title at UFC 280 next month. He can also be found cornering his cousins Abubakar Nurmagomedov, Umar Nurmagomedov and Usman Nurmagomedov.