UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov announced his retirement a few days ago, but UFC president Dana White believes the champion would unretire.
The Russian mixed martial artist champion is likely to return to the octagon and fight again to achieve a 30-0 win record, shared White with CBS Sports Radio.
Or at least that was the impression he received after speaking with Nurmagomedov after the fighter’s emotional victory in Abu Dhabi against Gaethje at UFC 254 last weekend, one of the much-awaited MMA events during the coronavirus pandemic.
UFC President Dana White reportedly told The Zach Gelb Show:
“Khabib and I have been talking. He was completely emotional that night when he got through that fight. I have a feeling that he might go for 30-0. I think that he’s not going to retire. His dad wanted him to get 30-0, and I think he wants to honor his dad’s wish.”
Nurmagomedov secured his 29th win last Saturday via a second-round TKO against Gaethje. He won despite nursing a broken toe and mumps. This marked his first win and appearance since his father, Abdulmanap, succumbed to heart complications worsened by the coronavirus.
After his victory, however, he announced his retirement, saying that he could no longer fight without his father and that he had promised his mother that it would be his last fight, saying:
“There is no way I’m going to come here without my father. It was my first time, after what happened with my father. When UFC call me about Justin, I talk with my mother [for] three days. She don’t want me to go fight without father. I promise her it’s going to be my last fight, and if I give my word, I have to follow this.”
Abdulmanap, meanwhile, reportedly told news outlets in Russia last year that he wanted Khabib to reach the 30-0 record and to retire undefeated.
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