UFC Top welterweight Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson has said that he does not think that the UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov will come back to the Fight Game.
Nurmagomedov (29-0 MMA, 13-0 UFC) is still recognized by the UFC as lightweight champion despite announcing his retirement nearly three months ago. At this past Saturday’s UFC on ABC 1, UFC president Dana White proclaimed that during a meeting in Abu Dhabi, Nurmagomedov expressed being open to returning to the octagon. If someone did something spectacular this Saturday, he could potentially be persuaded to fight.
White went on the UFC on ABC 1 broadcast and indicated that Nurmagomedov’s future depends on what happens next week at UFC 257, where Conor McGregor fights Dustin Poirier and Michael Chandler meets Dan Hooker at the top of the card – even Charles Oliveira could be in the mix.
“His words to me were, ‘I’m gonna watch this fight.’ He said, ‘I would never tie up the division, hold the belt, and keep the belt away from anybody else. If these guys do something spectacular, show me something spectacular, and make me want to come back and fight,’” White said. “So I have the feeling if somebody delivers, it could be on the co-main event or the main event, and he thought Oliveira looked good (vs. Tony Ferguson). … If these guys can do something special, Khabib will fight them.”
Stephen Thompson on Khabib Nurmagomdeov
Will Khabib Nurmagomedov ever fight again?
Stephen Thompson (@WonderboyMMA) gives his take
— James Lynch (@LynchOnSports) January 19, 2021
While most in the combat sports world would prefer to see “The Eagle” compete again, Stephen Thompson told James Lynch in a recent interview that believes it wouldn’t make sense for him to do so.
“No, no. Not at all,” Thompson said when asked if he thinks Nurmagomedov will fight again (via BJ Penn). “Khabib has made it where he’s like Conor McGregor status, to be honest with you.
“He’s up there. He’s the elite of the elite. He’s MMA royalty and for him to go fight somebody like (Dan) Hooker or any of those guys, it just doesn’t make sense. It doesn’t make sense” Thompson said.
That said, there is only one fight Thompson sees Nurmagomedov coming back for and that’s a lucrative rematch with Conor McGregor.
“The only way I would see him if he does come back would be a Conor fight,” Thompson added. “It would have to be a Conor fight. There is so much bad blood there that it’s not going to happen.
“I don’t think Khabib would give him that. I think Conor wants it. I think that would be a huge money fight, but I don’t think Khabib gives it to him. With that said, I don’t see him coming back. There’s no need for it. There’s nothing. Why?”
In a recent interview given to Russian news outlet Sport24, Nurmagomedov indicated fighting is not part of his current plans, and he doesn’t see an opponent that motivates a return to the octagon.
“I know that there are many fighters who would like to earn money, who strive for something,” he said. “What should I do? A lot of people don’t want to understand my side. I don’t see that yet.”
“If we talk about all my business projects, I have so much to do that is planned,” He said. “And fights are not in these plans.
Purchase the UFC merch here.
To bet on an MMA event click here.