There are still those out there, including Ultimate Fighting Championship President Dana White, that still hold out hope Khabib Nurmagomedov will end his stunning retirement and return to the Octagon. And maybe even in a fight with welterweight legend Georges St-Pierre. Unfortunately, based on some recent comments, don’t expect “The Eagle” to fly again in combat sports.
Khabib Nurmagomedov ‘finished’ and GSP fight won’t bring him back
In a new interview with MMAJunkie, the unbeaten former lightweight king was asked about recent comments from the UFC boss that he tried to entice the 32-year-old back for a fight against the Canadian MMA great. In response, the Dagestani superstar explained that the fight will never happen because he is “finished” with fighting, and he doesn’t think St-Pierre needs to make another comeback to the Octagon either.
For some, Nurmagomedov being finished is hard to believe
Having to explain why he decided to end his career in his early 30s has been a constant for Nurmagomedov since announcing his plans after his win over Dustin Poirier at UFC 254 in October. No amount of pressure from fans, media, or his former boss had made him budge on honoring his mother’s wishes to retire, following the death of his father Abdulamanap from COVID-19 a year ago. Even his friend, and former two-division champion, Daniel Cormier has not come to terms with the idea of Nurmagomedov never competing again.
“This morning, we just talked to “DC”, we talked about the last fights, what happened last week [at UFC 264], Islam [Mahkachev], we talk about everything. And he [tells me], ‘I really believe you’re going to come back.’ I say, ‘Why?’ [He said], ‘I just watched these fights and saw how these guys are really good, and you made [beating them] look easy. And I really believe you have to come back.’
“I said, ‘If you have to come back, and you’re going to come back; these are two different [things].’ A lot of people don’t believe I’m finished. I think because of age too–because I’m just 32-years-old.”
Nurmagomedov amassed a 29-0 record over a 12-year career in MMA. Nearly half of those wins came during a UFC tenure that also included wins over lightweight elites in Conor McGregor, Justin Gaethje, and Rafael dos Anjos.