UFC lightweight Khabib Nurmagomedov has opened the door on a potential return to fighting by confirming he is still in the USADA testing pool despite announcing his retirement from the sport.

Nurmagomedov retired following his submission victory over Justin Gaethje at UFC 254. Nurmagomedov cited the recent passing of his father, Abdulmanap, and his mother’s hesitation of him continuing to fight without his father in his corner as his reasons for the decision.

The announcement came as a shock to many, as the performance showed that the 32-year-old was still in his prime. This led to speculation that the retirement may not be permanent, and we would see Nurmagomedov in the octagon again. The UFC added fuel to the fire when they announced they wouldn’t be taking the title off of “The Eagle”.

Nurmagomedov has since doubled down on his retirement plans during an interview with the Head of Dagestan and shut down speculation about his impending return.

“This fight was like no other,” Khabib said. “The emotions in this fight were completely different. Everything was completely different without my father. I was offered the fight right after everything happened. I had the decision to accept it or turn it down, nobody knew about this, or retire, or I could come back, fight and then retire. Now I tell the people close to me that aren’t happy with me retiring that even if I fought 10 more times, I’d still have to face that decision. This decision could come up when I’m 32, 34, 35. It’s a hard decision because I’ve been fighting all my life. I’ve been on the mats for as long as I remember. It’s difficult to leave and do something else. People can’t understand it, but what can you do?”

Despite being adamant he is done with fighting Nurmagomedov underwent USADA testing over the weekend. He took to social media to confirm this and talk about the vigorous testing he was been through in the last five years.

“This is 47 times since 2015, as I have been tested for doping of Usada.
Just think about this number.,” Nurmagomedov wrote on Instagram.

Do you think Khabib Nurmagomedov will fight again?

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A lifelong fight fan from Liverpool, England who has been covering mixed martial arts (MMA) and boxing for several years. Follow @JordanEllisUK on Twitter for all the latest fight news, views, interviews and live event coverage.