Despite many claiming the 31-year old was at the peak of his ability, Khabib honoured a promise to his mother and announced his retirement in the cage after defeating Justin Gaethje at UFC 254.
After 29 UFC bouts, eight of which being won by knockout, Khabib made his bow remaining undefeated, and was considered by many to be the pound-for-pound champion of the sport.
Khabib had always heralded his late father and trainer Abdulmanap as his mentor and key motivator and had spoken very little about other fighters and sportspersons who had inspired his journey to become a champion.
However, in a recent conversation with Mike Tyson on his popular podcast ‘Hotboxin with Mike Tyson,’ Khabib went on to reveal the three athletic legends who inspired him to achieve greatness in his sport.
Khabib said, as per The Mirror: “Three athletes who inspired me like crazy – it was Brazilian Ronaldo, Mike Tyson and Muhammad Ali.
“I met two of them, but, I [didn’t] have a chance to meet Muhammad Ali… I hope, like next life [I get to meet him].”
Tyson, who was clearly humbled by the praise, added that Khabib would have loved to meet Muhammad Ali, to which Khabib said: “I really believe, next life, I’m gonna meet with him.”
The full podcast has yet to be released, with the full conversation seeing them joined by fellow MMA legends Henry Cejudo (two-weight UFC champion) and Ali Abdelaziz (one of the most respected MMA managers).
Like Khabib, Cejudo also announced his retirement from UFC last year, but many are anticipating him to announce his return to the Octagon soon.