UFC president, Dana White remains adamant that current undisputed lightweight titleholder, Khabib ‘The Eagle’ Nurmagomedov will snap his recent plans on retirement, in search of a perfect 30-0 professional record. However, it seems the number-one pound-for-pound rated fighter has different plans in mind.
The untested, Khabib immediately called time on his illustrious professional career following the main event of UFC 254 back in October on ‘Fight Island’. The 32-year-old Dagestani submitted then-interim champion, Justin ‘The Highlight’ Gaethje with a stunning second-round triangle to unify the lightweight crowns.
Following an incredibly emotional outpour, Khabib gathered his thoughts and spoke with UFC commentator, Jon Anik, where he noted his intentions to retire from mixed martial arts following a promise made to his mother, after the passing of his late father and renowned sambo coach, Abdulmanap earlier this year due to complications resulting from COVID-19.
In the weeks since the event, White originally told reporters that the community as a whole was lucky to witness Khabib enter the Octagon for his twenty-ninth fight given the circumstances presented, as well as the fact he had been struck with a case of the mumps, and the prior breaking of his toe.
Speaking on the topic of Khabib’s future recently, White had revealed he had held conversations with Khabib and believes the dominant champion will make his Octagon return in search of his thirtieth professional victory.
In a recent interview with Russian outlet, TASS, Khabib appeared to denounce White’s claims – detailing how he had already reached his career “goal“.
“You can fight until you’re forty(-years-old) but there should be a goal,” Khabib said. “I had a goal to reach the summit and I got there. Further, I have no competitive interest. Next year I will graduate. I’d like to [build on] my thesis, do a masters course, dedicate more time to studying. I’ve bought sheep. I tend to my farm. I’d like to develop in this field a little. I have the bull calves out to feed, I have cows.” (H/T Chisanga Malata)
Speculation began to mount once more regarding Khabib’s immediate fighting future, given the fact he recently engaged in a random drug-test by anti-doping agency, USADA, and remains in the organization’s testing-pool.
One thing seems to be set in stone,however, the upcoming UFC 257 clash between Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor, both former opponents of Khabib – won’t be for a title on January 23 – interim or undisputed, according to White.