Speaking to CBS Sports Zach Gelb, White shared that he has had conversations with Khabib regarding his decision to retire at UFC 254.
“I’ll tell you this and I haven’t told anybody this yet. Khabib and I have been talking and he was completely emotional that night when he got through that fight and I’ve got a feeling that he might go for 30-0.”
White was then asked directly by Gelb if he thought a return would happen to which White stated that he believes it will happen. “I do, I think that he’s not going to retire. His dad wanted him to get to 30-0 and I think he wants to honor his dad’s wish.”
Earlier this year Khabib’s father Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov passed away due to COVID-related illness. This loss shook the MMA community and was a driving factor in Khabib’s retirement at UFC 254. After submitting Justin Gaethje to defend his title, Khabib took off his gloves and announced his departure from the sport sharing that he promised his mother it would be the last time he compete as she told him not to do so without his father.
Nurmagomedov was a coach not only to Khabib, but also many other fighters from the same region. He had previously shared that his goals for his son were to reach 30-0 and then retire undefeated. With his win at UFC 254, Khabib took his record to 29-0, just shy of the perfect 30-0 record that had been discussed.
As far as an opponent for his 30th bout Khabib and his father had spoken of facing UFC hall of famer and all time great Georges St-Pierre in their final bout. St-Pierre appears open to this stating after Khabib’s retirement that should he come back to the sport then he would love to take the challenge.