Most of the indicators so far point to Khabib Nurmagomedov remaining a retired fighter. But, the lightweight champ has confirmed the UFC is doing its part to get him back into the Octagon for another fight.

Khabib comments on the upcoming meeting with Dana White

The undefeated fighter rocked the MMA world in  October when after he submitted Justin Gaethje, Nurmagomedov announced he was retiring. The Dagestani star reported that after his father passed away earlier this year, he promised his mother he would only fight one more time.

Since then, however, UFC President Dana White has said he believes he may be able to convince Khabib to come back for another fight, in pursuit of the 30-0 mark. As a result, Nurmagomedov remains the lightweight champ, even though he’s said multiple times now he’s retired.

White is set to meet with Khabib in January, and while talking with Match TV recently, he had this to say (translations via RT Sport).

“Dana and I are in touch and did not discuss the moment with the vacant belt,” he said. “This is because they want me to continue.

“This is clear – I have been in the league for nine years and have not lost. I have a story, a big fanbase.

“I don’t blame them and their desire is understandable. They persuade, I will not hide, but this is not surprising.

“They offer conditions and fighters, but it’s hard to surprise fighters. I finished half of the top 10 ahead of schedule.

“And so yes, I repeat: there are conditions and offers. In a couple of weeks, Dana and I will discuss all the points. I would not like to have the likelihood of my return.”

The consensus has been that if Khabib were to return, a fight with fellow legend, Georges St-Pierre, would likely be the reason why. Nurmagomedov repeatedly said in the past that he wanted to face GSP.

A win over the former welterweight and middleweight champ would further build his legacy, and St-Pierre has noted it would do the same for him, if he beat Khabib. But, when asked about what opponent could get him back in the cage, Nurmagomedov reportedly said this.

“I would have fought only with Muhammad Ali, but he is not with us”

Is the door still slightly open?

So, this last comment here about Ali, and other statements Khabib has made about being retired, certainly point to his storied career being over.

But…it is somewhat interesting that Khabib is taking this meeting with White, and has reportedly acknowledged they will discuss the UFC’s offer. 

Further, not long ago, Khabib reported he remains in the USADA testing pool. So, could he be keeping the door open to a return, just slightly? In case an offer he can’t turn down gets tabled?

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