Khabib Nurmagomedov shocked the world after he retained his title last Saturday at UFC 254 by announcing his retirement in his post fight speech, meaning he leaves the sport at 29-0 and as the Lightweight king. On Tuesday he returned to Dagestan with his belt where he spoke with reporters for the first time since his retirement.
Speaking on Tuesday Nurmagomedov said “Of course (UFC president) Dana (White) wants me to continue fighting and generate revenue,” Nurmagomedov said in Russian, translated by RT Sport. “I can make money myself. I’m at the peak of my career and can fight for very large purses, but I made this decision, and I think this is the best time. Not everyone can retire at their peak, but I know that in a year, two or five (years) I’d have to face that decision again. I did enough in the sport to be considered the best. Today, I was ranked as the No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter, so the mission is accomplished. What else is there to do? Make money? I’ll always be able to do that.”
Later on ‘The Eagle’ talked about his friend and teammate Islam Makhachev‘s plan to hold the UFC Lightweight belt one day.
“Life goes on, and our MMA academy is still running,” Nurmagomedov stated. “Islam Makhachev got a fight on Nov. 14 in Las Vegas against a former lightweight champion (Rafael dos Anjos). It’s a major event or our team. Like my father said, when I leave there’ll be another champion. There won’t be another guy like me. It’ll be hard to repeat what I did. We are planning for Islam to win his fight and fight again before Ramadan to become a contender for the belt. Then next year in September or October, he’ll be here with his belt.”
Nurmagomedov then talks about how his mother knew he was going to retire but that she was surprised he announced its right after the fight. “Well, the emotions ran high, she knew, but I don’t think she expected me to announce it right after the fight. I did promise her that this would be my last fight, so she was aware.” (Transcribed by MMAJunkie)
On Tuesday Khabib overtook Jon Jones to be the number 1 in the official pound-for-pound rankings in the UFC, which was his final wish before he stepped out of the octogan for the last time.
Do you think we ever get to see Khabib Nurmagomedov fight again?