Dana White Still Wants Khabib Nurmagomedov Back in UFC Octagon

Published 07/08/2021, 11:38 AM EDT
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – OCTOBER 04: UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov speaks to UFC president Dana White during the UFC 229 Press Conference inside The Park Theater at Park MGM on October 4, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)


It is a well-known fact that former UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov retired while still in his prime. He hadn’t lost in any of his MMA fights, let alone UFC. Despite walking away, he remains a main event attraction who would still gather headlines if he ever returns. Nobody knows this better than Dana White.

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The UFC supremo recently appeared for an interview. One interviewer asked him about the recent comeback request claims by ‘The Eagle’ in one of his interviews.

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – OCTOBER 25: (L-R) Khabib Nurmagomedov of Russia kicks Justin Gaethje in their lightweight title bout during the UFC 254 event on October 25, 2020 on UFC Fight Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

White said, “Allegedly, yeah, that happened. I did not say that as the last time I would gonna leave him alone… So I threw one more at him and he’s retired.”

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Khabib announced retirement after his last match at UFC 254. He defended his lightweight gold against the then interim lightweight champion ‘The Highlight’ Justin Gaethje. The match ended when ‘The Eagle’ locked in the submission and secured the tap.

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Ever since then, many have been speculating about his return, but he is still adamant about his decision.

Khabib Nurmagomedov details Dana White and UFC’s approach

In a recent interview with UFC Russia, the Dagestani native detailed the never-ending pursuit of UFC to gain him back. “If he (White) was a fighter, then he would never give up. He could be knocked (out) or choked, but he would never give up on his own. I am positive,” Khabib said.

‘The Eagle’ then talked about his manager, Ali Abdelaziz, receiving a call from the supremo.

“Abdelaziz called me a few weeks ago. He asked me, ‘Do you know (what) Dana (White) asked me? And told me, ‘Why does Khabib never ask me how much money I can offer him for his return?’ I asked Abdelaziz, ‘This is the question for me through you or what?’”

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But Khabib, for the umpteenth time, declined a return as no amount of money could bring him back. ‘The Eagle’ has said multiple times that he has promised his mother he won’t fight inside the octagon again.

“I believe they will understand me and my choice eventually,” Khabib concluded.

Though Khabib has retired from the octagon, he still grabs the spotlight with the work he is doing behind the scenes for the sport. From helping his pals out to launching his own MMA production, nothing (even retirement) can stop ‘The Eagle’ from taking a leap.

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Akshyay Srichandan Mahapatra

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Akshyay Mahapatra is a UFC author for EssentiallySports. He wished to combine his passion for the UFC (that he has been following since 2008) as well as his love for writing. This motivated him to enter the world of combat sports journalism.

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