Since October 24, 2020, every time Khabib Nurmagomedov has spoken about his career, it has been with rhetoric of unwavering finality. He has insisted and continues to insist that he is just as retired as Mark “The Hammer Coleman,” Dan “The Beast” Severn, Rich “Ace” Franklin, and any other name from years past that you can think of whose retirement is unquestioned and permanent. Yet whenever Dana White speaks on the subject, it is presented as a neverending saga, with one “Tune in for our next meeting” cliffhanger after another.
Khabib Nurmagomedov Clarifies Who Is Holding Up LW Division
It isn’t just the public who has noticed the contrast between Khabib’s words and Dana White’s. Khabib has noticed it as well. Since it’s Khabib who is the champion, there are fighters and fans wondering what is the holdup of him vacating the lightweight title.
It seemed the main reason for the delay in finalizing the retirement was originally to allow Dana an opportunity to talk with Nurmagomedov in their meeting in Abu Dhabi. Following the meeting, Dana White insisted that Khabib would consider coming back if he were wowed by the lightweights competing at the event, but we never heard that from Khabib directly. What we are hearing from Khabib once again is that he is done, and he is now putting the onus on Dana White to share this reality with the world.
“I know they’re already making plans, I think for around May or June for a title fight. But between who?” Nurmagomedov said in an interview with Match TV (via RT Sport). “Dana told me he isn’t done yet. I can say that. When I told him the lightweight division needs to move on, he told me he isn’t done.
“He said to me, ‘When you fly to Vegas at the end of February, we’ll sit down and talk.’
“Dana needs to make some kind of decision. But whatever the decision, I’ll aUFC 257: Dana White Post-fight Press Conference – YouTubegree with it.”
Khabib will agree with it as long as the decision does not include him being booked for a fourth title defense. Dana White has hinted at accepting Nurmagomedov’s retirement recently, admitting that it is, in fact, him and not the champion who has not finalized the retirement. Based on Khabib’s latest comments, Dana White is still not giving up, and thus the saga continues.
What do you predict will ultimately happen to the UFC lightweight division?