Khabib Nurmagomedov recently said that he is going to have another meeting with UFC president Dana White regarding his fighting future and the lightweight division.
From the moment that Khabib Nurmagomedov announced he was retiring—following a successful title defense against Justin Gaethje at UFC 254 in October—White has insisted in interviews that he expected Nurmagomedov to reconsider ending his competitive career. As recently as last Saturday, White said that at a meeting with Nurmagomedov in Abu Dhabi, the lightweight champion told him he might return to action if “something special” happened at UFC 257.
That event went down last night and two lightweights delivered in a major way, with Dustin Poirier winning his rematch with Conor McGregor by second-round TKO to avenge a past loss, and three-time Bellator champion Michael Chandler making an emphatic debut with a first-round finish of Dan Hooker.
Even with that statement wins, White admitted that he’s not convinced they were enough to draw Nurmagomedov back into the fold after speaking with him after Saturday night’s event.
“I did talk to Khabib,” White said at the evening’s post-fight presser. “He said to me, ‘Dana, be honest with yourself. I’m so many levels above these guys. I beat these guys.’ I don’t know. I don’t know what he’s—it doesn’t sound very positive, so we’ll see.
“And what he said was, I told you guys before, he won’t hold the division up. I mean, he already retired. He’s retired, I’m the one that’s been trying to get him to do one more.”
That’s the first time White has at least somewhat waved the white flag when it comes to Nurmagomedov’s comeback negotiations, which isn’t surprising given that he had already said earlier this week that he was not planning to go back on a promise he made to his mother. Khabib didn’t even stick around to watch UFC 257 in-person, instead of leaving Abu Dhabi after corning his cousin Umar Nurmagomedov to a win on Wednesday.
Khabib Nurmagomedov talks about his fighting Future
In an interview with Match TV, UFC Champ Khabib Nurmagomedov revealed he scheduled a new meeting with Dana White at the end of this month.
— Bruno Massami (Бруно Массами) (@BrMassami) February 9, 2021
On Monday, the champion spoke to Match TV about his current plans. Nurmagomedov said that he is meeting with White at the end of the month and agreed that the lightweight division “needs to go on.” Additionally, Nurmagomedov said that Poirier deserves to be champion.
In an interview with Match TV, UFC Champ Khabib Nurmagomedov revealed he scheduled a new meeting with Dana White at the end of this month. He accepts any decision but he thinks the division needs to go on. Also, he agrees about @DustinPoirier deserves to be a Champion.
Nurmagomedov said he continues to train MMA, but his work is for personal pleasure and not professional. Asked about the promise he made to his mother not to compete after UFC 254, which followed the death of his father and coach Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov from complications of COVID-19, he indicated he takes very seriously what he said. A few weeks back Khabib in an interview said
“My mother is the most precious thing I have left,” he said. “Come on, you won’t push me to do things that will disappoint my mother.”
Nurmagomedov didn’t appear to declare he would never fight again. For the near future, though, he said he has no “plans for the UFC shortly.” And to those who might pressure him otherwise, he asked to consider the path that led him to his current stance.
“I have left it behind,” he said. “Don’t torment me, let me enjoy what I have for today. And just so you know, I’ve sacrificed a lot to get to this level.”
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