Former UFC lightweight champion, Khabib Nurmagomedov has revealed during a recent interview that the UFC, as well as the promotion’s president, Dana White are still keen on him making an Octagon return — despite his decision to walk away from the sport last October, which resulted in a drawn-out situation where the Dagestani eventually left the promotion in March.
Calling time officially on his professional mixed martial arts career earlier this year, Khabib was removed from the official UFC lightweight rankings, as well as the summit of the pound-for-pound pile — before vacating him championship, which is now held by Brazil’s Charles Oliveira.
Following his successful unification of the lightweight championship last October on ‘Fight Island’ against then-interim gold holder, Justin Gaethje — Khabib immediately announced his decision to retire from the sport, citing the recent passing of his coach and father, Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov — explaining how he didn’t want to fight again professionally without his father by his side.
In the months since, White transparently had attempted to entice Khabib to make a career u-turn and compete one final time — quite openly, in fact, in the run-up to UFC 257 in January, when he was filmed asking Khabib to project the numbers a rematch between himself and arch-rival, former two-weight champion, Conor McGregor generate.
Speaking with UFC Russia recently, Khabib explained that UFC president, White as well as the actual organization has attempted to entice him from retirement still, questioning how much money it would take for him to snap his retirement pledge to his mother.
“You know a few days ago — I don’t know whether I can go on record, (Ali) Abdelaziz called me a few weeks ago,” Khabib said. “He asked me, ‘Do you know what Dana White asked me?’ and told me (Dana asked), ‘Why does Khabib (Nurmagomedov) never ask me how much money I can offer for his return?’ I asked Abdelaziz, ‘This is the question for me through you or what?’ And he told me, ‘Nah, Dana just asked,’“
Despite the tireless effort from White and the promotion to entice Khabib to make a comeback, the 29-0 Sambo specialist remains unmotivated to make a return to professional mixed martial arts competition.
“Look, I am really not interested,” Khabib explained. “We went down this road. I said and did everything I wanted. I made the decision. However, (Dana White) is not giving up. Not even Dana but the entire UFC headquarters in Las Vegas, (Nevada). They assume I [I’ll] inflate my price or prepare my agenda for future negotiations. I left, ‘But come on guys, change my mind give me money or something.’ It feels like that for me. I believe they will understand me and my choice eventually.” (H/T BJPENN.com)