Khabib Nurmagomedov and Cristiano Ronaldo are two men who have scaled the heights of their respective sports, but the UFC champ has advised his football superstar friend to know when to call time on his career.
Speaking at a media event in Russia for regional MMA promotion GFC, Khabib was asked by a member of the audience why Ronaldo “seems not to want to retire” – and whether the UFC champ had taken any fitness tips off his friend.
“Well you know, it’s hard to leave something you’ve done your whole life,” Khabib said.
“But it doesn’t matter whether you want to [retire] or not, the time will come when if you don’t leave the sport, the sport will leave you…
“If you don’t leave at the right time, you’ll be left behind as there’ll be new champions, younger, hungrier, more motivated guys. You won’t same motivation and hunger you’ve had at the beginning of your career towards its end.
“Nobody will be around forever, so it’s important to leave at the right time. How old is he [Ronaldo]? 34? At 35 he won’t have the same conditioning and reaction time.
“It doesn’t matter if it’s Cristiano or Khabib, people will come and take your place.
“My advice to him, and to me as well, is to leave at the right time.
“I haven’t taken advice from him about [training and fitness] because right now I feel good, and when I start to fall behind in some areas, I’ll probably consult him.
“But for now he’s performing, I’m performing and we have no problems,” Khabib said.
Whether or not Ronaldo takes Khabib’s advice is another matter.
The star number 7 has previously said he wants to add to his haul of five Ballon d’Or accolades with at least two or three more titles as the world’s best player.