Khabib Nurmagomedov Weighs-in on Possibility of Retiring at 30-0
Khabib Nurmagomedov hasn't said he will retire if he reaches the 30-0 mark, but the star has also said that record "sounds good".
If Khabib Nurmagomedov beats Justin Gaethje this Saturday at UFC 254, could we see the lightweight champ fight just one more time after that? Well, while the undefeated fighter hasn’t said that’s the plan, he hasn’t ruled it out as a possibility either.
Nurmagomedov says 30-0 “sounds good”
In recent months, there’s been a lot of talk about whether Nurmagomedov’s career could be in its final stages. Although Khabib is only 32, he has repeatedly said he doesn’t plan to fight into his last 30’s.
Further, following the tragic passing of his father and coach, Abdulmanap, speculation about Khabib’s fighting future spiked. Not only because of how close Khabib was with his father, but, because it was reported Abdulmanap thought his son retiring at 30-0 would be a historic way to leave the sport.
Well, if Khabib beats Gaethje on Saturday, his record will stand at 29-0. Recently the champion spoke with Yahoo Sports’ Kevin Iole, and when asked if he wants to retire at 30-0, the champ said this (quotes via MMA Fighting and The Body Lock).
“Honestly, I don’t know,” Nurmagomedov said. “30-0 is going to be great. It’s looking good, it sounds good.
“30-0, okay. It’s going to be a great record, this is like Mayweather in MMA. We’ll see, I’m very close to it.”
And after Iole talked about how Khabib could add to his legacy with two more wins, Nurmagomedov said this.
“Who knows?” Nurmagomedov said. “Okay, I finish Justin Gaethje, I finish one more guy, I dominate him—I think my name is going to be always in history,” Nurmagomedov said.
“I think already my name is going to be in history because two years ago what happened [against McGregor] is never going to be forgotten.
Even after 50 years, people are going to watch this fight and be impressed. This is like when Muhammad Ali fought [Joe] Frazier in Manila. People never forget this fight.
“I’m already in history but I need legacy. For legacy, Justin Gaethje is a great opponent right now.”
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So, based off these comments, and what Khabib has said in the past, one could certainly conclude that retirement at 30-0 is a real possibility.
Could Khabib decide to fight beyond that point, if he thinks he needs to record a couple more wins and move past say, Jon Jones, in the greatest of all-time debate? Sure.
But, it also sounds like Khabib will be content with what he’s accomplished at the 30-0 mark. Especially if he defeats, say, Georges St-Pierre to get there.
First things first, however, and that’s getting past Justin Gaethje, who man believe will provide Khabib is toughest test to date.