Dana White Believes Khabib Could Return, After Talking With Retired Champ
Although Khabib Nurmagomedov recently repeated his fighting days are over, Dana White believes the star's retirement could be short lived.
Going off what Khabib Nurmagomedov has publicly said, since he took out Justin Gaethje at UFC 254, it certainly sounds like the legend is done fighting. But, after talking with the undefeated lightweight, UFC President Dana White believes we could see Khabib in the Octagon again.
White thinks Khabib will return to pursue 30-0 mark
Khabib faced Gaethje at UFC 254, and proceeded to choke out the ridiculously, dangerous fighter with a second-round, triangle-choke. After the thrilling win, Khabib announced that after the tragic passing of his father Abdulmanap earlier this year, he promised his mother he would only fight one more time.
Although Khabib had repeatedly said he didn’t plan to fight for that much longer, his retirement shocked the MMA world. Leading up to UFC 254, the consensus was that if Nurmagomedov defeated Gaethje, he would return to hunt after his 30th win.
It was widely reported that Khabib’s father had hoped he would hang-up-the-gloves at the 30-0 mark.
“Khabib and I have been talking,” White said. “He was completely emotional that night when he got through that fight. I have a feeling that he might go for 30-0.”
“I think that he’s not going to retire. His dad wanted him to get to 30-0, and I think he wants to honor his dad’s wish.”
Could White be right?
So, it will be interesting to see if White is right here. He’s not the only person to question whether Khabib could change his mind, after he’s had more time to recover from the loss of his father.
“Of course (UFC president) Dana (White) wants me to continue fighting and generate revenue,” Nurmagomedov said. “I can make money myself.
I’m at the peak of my career and can fight for very large purses, but I made this decision, and I think this is the best time.
Not everyone can retire at their peak, but I know that in a year, two or five (years) I’d have to face that decision again. I did enough in the sport to be considered the best.
Today, I was ranked as the No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter, so the mission is accomplished.
What else is there to do? Make money? I’ll always be able to do that.”
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So, that doesn’t sound like someone who is thinking about returning to the cage. But who knows right?
30-0 would be a pretty remarkable legacy to have. Especially if Khabib was able to reach that mark with a win over fellow legend, Georges St-Pierre.