UFC president Dana White is still “a little confident” that Khabib Nurmagomedov will fight again.
‘The Eagle’ retired after successfully unifying the division against interim titleholder Justin Gaethje at UFC 254 in October.
“Today I want to say this was my last fight,” Nurmagomedov announced. “No way I’m going to come here without my father. It was first time after what happened with my father, when UFC called me about Justin, I talk with my mother three days. She doesn’t want me to go fight without my father but I promised her it was going to be my last fight. If I give my word, I have to follow this. It was my last fight here.”
Since then, Nurmagomedov has insisted his retirement is permanent but despite these claims, he remains the lightweight champion and also remains in the USASA testing pool.
White is planning to meet with Nurmagomedov to speak about his fighting future next month and the UFC boss is confident he can convince ‘The Eagle’ to fight on.
“I think his dad wanting him to get to 30-0 is in the back of his mind, and he wants to achieve that because he knew his father wanted it,” White told BT Sport. “But we’ll see. Him and I are getting together next month and talk. He might not want to fight, I don’t know the answer to that. But I’m a little confident that I can talk him into it.”
White won’t know Nurmagomedov’s definite decision until the meeting between the two men takes place in Abu Dhabi ahead of UFC 257. For that reason, the UFC boss insists the interim lightweight title will not be on the line when Conor McGregor rematches Dustin Poirier on January 23
“No interim title, I’ll know next month,” White said. “I’ll know when Conor and Poirier are fighting, when he’s (Nurmagomedov) going to fight again, so it all times out perfectly.” (Transcribed by MMA Junkie)
Do you think Dana White can convince Khabib Nurmagomedov to return?