Reigning UFC lightweight champion of the world Khabib Nurmagomedov opened his brand new gym in Dagestan and said that it would form the basecamp for his training ahead of his UFC 249 clash with Tony Ferguson in April 2020.
Chatting with RT Sport at the opening of the gym in Dagestan, Khabib explained that the gym would be operational effective immediately with himself, and a host of his teammates, set to kick off their respective training camps at the new facility.
“I’m going to begin my training camp right here,” he said.
“Islam (Makhachev) has a fight, Zubaira (Tukhugov) has a fight. A lot of my fighters from our gym have fights. Tonight we’re going to train here.
“A couple of guys have fights at the end of January, some have fights at the end of January. Some have February fights. They all need professional training, sparring inside the cage, training, everything. And we’re going to begin this, starting today.”
The facility would help train the region’s top martial arts fighters, but Khabib also revealed bigger plans for the overall complex, as he revealed his hopes for a further development that would feature a school for local kids.
“Studies are very important for us. Maybe we’re going to build another building and make a small school for kids,” he said.
“We don’t know yet, but we’re thinking about this. Because for us, it’s very important with training, knowledge is power, not muscle.
“When you have knowledge and muscle, that’s power. But when you have muscle without knowledge, it’s going to be a problem for all the people around you. This is very important.”
What is also important to Khabib is the fact that, despite being Dagestan’s most famous MMA export, he would not be putting his name above the door of the new gym. That honor, he said, would go to his father, Abdulmanap.
“This is the most important thing for me,” he said.
“At the beginning of building the gym, we talked a lot about what name it would have, and I said no way, it’s going to be my father’s name.”