Sunday, February 28, 2021

Dan Hooker Believes Khabib Nurmagomedov Stays Retired

Dan Hooker doesn’t think Khabib Nurmagomedov will return.

After Nurmagomedov submitted Justin Gaethje to defend his belt, he announced his retirement from MMA. However, Dana White wanted the champ to return and met with him recently but he did not give a clear answer.

According to Hooker, who is set to welcome Michael Chandler to the UFC, he doesn’t believe Nurmagomedov will return.

“As far as I’m concerned, the guy says he’s retired,” Hooker said to MMAJunkie. “If you say you’re retired, in my mind you’re retired. My focus is to fight the best in the world. My focus is to fight whoever is holding the belt, and that’s whoever that may be.”

Dan Hooker is coming off a decision loss to Dustin Poirier last June to snap his losing skid after he beat Paul Felder, Al Iaquinta, and James Vick.

There is no question the uncertainty of Nurmagomedov’s future is weighing on the lightweight division. The belt is currently held by the Dagestani native, but whether or not he will even return is still uncertain.

For now, Hooker, and the rest of the division just need to focus on winning and either earn a crack at Nurmagomedov or fight for the vacant belt.