Know when to call it quits, Khabib advises pal Cristiano Ronaldo (VIDEO)
At 31 years of age and undefeated in 28 professional MMA bouts, Nurmagomedov has readily admitted he sees himself as having two or three more fights left in the tank before calling it quits.
At 34, Ronaldo is even more advanced in years, and despite the fire still burning as intently as ever, there have been signs that the Juventus star’s goal return is slowing as he enters the twilight of his career.
The Portuguese was recently voted third in the Ballon d'Or rankings, where rival Lionel Messi picked up a record sixth accolade, while he has scored nine times in 18 appearances for Juventus this season.
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.Also on rt.com Ronaldo aiming for as many as EIGHT Ballon d’Or titles to end Messi debate once and for all
Khabib has been a Ronaldo fan dating back to the Portugal star’s days at Real Madrid.
Photos shared on social media have shown both posing with a Madrid shirt with ‘Khabib 7’ on the back.
The UFC champ paid a visit to see Ronaldo in action in Russia at the start of November, when Juventus were playing Lokomotiv Moscow in the Champions League group stage.
Ronaldo suffered frustration on that occasion, seeing teammate Aaron Ramsey toe-poke his goal-bound free-kick across the line, before being substituted in the second half – although Juve did at least go on to win.Also on rt.com ‘Thank God Ronaldo didn’t score!’ Khabib ribs pal Cristiano over ‘robbed’ goal against Lokomotiv