Thursday, August 18, 2022

Archives: Khabib Says Oliveira Won’t Lure Him Back (2021)

On this day one year ago, Khabib Nurmagomedov ruled out any possibility of fighting Charles “Do Bronx” Oliveira or anyone else for that matter.

Charles Oliveira may not be the reigning UFC lightweight champion after missing weight ahead of his UFC 274 bout against Justin Gaethje, but many consider him to be the unofficial champion of the division.

With Khabib Nurmagomedov retiring at 29-0 and in the prime in his career at only 32 years old, the public still wanted to see more of him. So once Oliveira took over the lightweight championship throne, many wondered if seeing a new king in the division would lure “The Eagle” out of retirement.

One year later, there still doesn’t appear to be any signs of that happening.

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Of course, one potential reason for Khabib being so set in his retirement ways is because his protégé, Islam Makhachev, was closing in on a title fight against Oliveira. Well, as of yesterday, that bout is now official, and Khabib can remain comfortable with a birds-eye view as Makhachev attempts to bring the lightweight gold back to Dagestan.

However, should Makhachev lose, Khabib’s former jiu-jitsu coach believes that would, in fact, be enough to bring Khabib back, regardless of what Khabib said last year.

The following article is presented to you in its original, unaltered form, courtesy of The MMA News Archives.

On This Day One Year Ago…


Headline: Khabib Shoots Down Possibility Of Oliveira Luring Him Out Of Retirement

Author: Harvey Leonard

Khabib Nurmagomedov says the possibility of fighting UFC Lightweight Champion Charles Oliveira won’t bring him out of retirement.

Khabib announced his departure from the sport of MMA last October following his dominant victory over Justin Gaethje at UFC 254. Despite the UFC’s best efforts, his decision was made official earlier this year. After three title defenses, Khabib vacated the lightweight gold and Brazil’s Oliveira was there to take advantage.

But despite many suggesting that Oliveira’s immense skill on the ground, along with his ever-improving striking game, would make him a tough matchup for Khabib, the Russian legend says the possibility of a bout with the Brazilian isn’t enough to lure him back to the Octagon.

During an interview with ESPN MMA’s Brett Okamoto, “The Eagle” addressed his future and reiterated his desire to remain retired from MMA.

“I’m gonna say at that time it was Khabib’s time. Now it’s Charles’ time,” said Khabib. “I’m not going to just jump to the media and say, ‘Oh, I’m gonna come back and fight with this guy.’ This is not interesting for me.” (h/t Bleacher Report)

Despite the likes of Dana White continuing to push for Khabib’s return to MMA, the Dagestani has previously explained why he called an end to his in-cage career at the age of 32.

“I have achieved almost everything in this sport and there isn’t someone I would like to fight now,” Khabib told Sport24. “A lot of people don’t want to understand my side. I don’t see that yet. I train for myself. If we talk about all my business projects that are planned, fights are not in these plans.” (h/t MMA Mania)

After over a decade in the promotion, Charles Oliveira finally had UFC gold wrapped around his waist this year. At UFC 262 in May, “Do Bronx” came back from extreme early adversity to knock out Michael Chandler in the second round of their headlining championship fight.

After Dana White confirmed the winner of the UFC 264 trilogy fight between Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier would be next in line for the title, it appears that “the Diamond” will almost certainly be the first challenger to Oliveira’s lightweight belt later this year.

How do you think Charles Oliveira would fare against the great Khabib Nurmagomedov?

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