Khabib Nurmagomedov has no inclination to return to the sport of MMA after retiring on top.
Nurmagomedov retired from MMA undefeated as the undisputed UFC lightweight champion after defending his belt successfully for the third time against Justin Gaethje in October 2020. Any rumours of his potential return were quickly squashed by “The Eagle” himself in an Eagle FC 37 press conference.
When asked whether he would return if his teammate and #9-ranked lightweight contender Islam Makhachev were to lose in a potential title fight, Nurmagomedov dismissed these rumors.
“I don’t think anything will change,” said Nurmagomedov. “Islam Makhachev has his own way, I have mine. If Islam fails, he is capable of taking care of himself. But we will be next to him to help and never let him fall. As for myself, I don’t have any desire to come back, and I don’t think I ever will”.
Many believe Nurmagomedov to be one of the greatest MMA fighters of all time after retiring with a perfect 29-0 record, 13 of those wins coming in the UFC promotion and three successful title defences as the UFC lightweight champion.
After his successful title defence against Gaethje at UFC 254, Nurmagomedov called it time on his professional MMA career in his post-fight interview inside the cage, keeping a promise to his mother that he would retire after the fight.
Earlier in 2020, tragedy struck as the father and personal coach of Khabib, Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov died from complications from COVID-19. He was responsible for nurturing not only his son but many fighters from Dagestan and also coached several other world champions across different combat disciplines, including current UFC fighter Makhachev.
Nurmagomedov stated that he would no longer fight without his father in his corner who was present with him in his second successful title defence against Dustin Poirier at UFC 242 in September 2019.
Do you believe Khabib stays retired?