‘It’s So Good Not to Be an Active Athlete’ – Khabib Nurmagomedov Has No Regrets With Retirement

Published 03/16/2021, 8:02 AM EDT
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – MARCH 06: Khabib Nurmagomedov interacts with media during the UFC 249 press conference at T-Mobile Arena on March 06, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)


UFC Lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov announced his retirement from MMA after beating Justin Gaethje at UFC 254. He successfully defended his belt for the third time and ended his career with a perfect record of 29 – 0.

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Since then, rumors of a comeback have been in circulation, and ‘The Eagle’ hasn’t really done a lot to dispel them. However, Khabib is enjoying his life after retirement as he was seen touting a shift to football on Instagram.

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While that might have failed to materialize, he posted another photo of him posing with a couple of San Francisco buildings in the backdrop. He captioned the image, “Since 2012, I just dreamed of going to this city (San Francisco) without preparing for my battle and without any diet, just walking and enjoying good food.”

Khabib was happy that he had accomplished his dream and added that his previous life felt like a prison in comparison to this. “It’s so good not to be an active athlete,” he concluded in a rather ominous fashion.

His retirement is a cause of concern for the UFC, as it means that a fight with Conor McGregor won’t materialize. The Irishman fought Khabib at UFC 229 and lost in the fourth round via submission. President Dana White has repeatedly said that Khabib will fight again. Hence, the lightweight division is on hold.

However, Khabib is not completely free. He has his own promotion called Eagle FC, and it was started in the December 2020. They have held some events and Khabib has big plans for this part of his life.

Khabib Nurmagomedov: Another dominant display against Justin Gaethje

‘The Eagle’s last fight against Gaethje was another hallmark performance. The fight lasted all of two rounds before Khabib put Gaethje to sleep with a triangle choke in the second round. The first round was fast-paced, and the fight was fairly even on the feet.

However, Gaethje couldn’t compete with the Russian’s immaculate ground game and lost the fight. He is now one of the six contenders for the lightweight title and is ranked number 2 in the official rankings. Dustin Poirier is the number one contender after his impressive knockout victory over McGregor.

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ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – OCTOBER 25: (L-R) Khabib Nurmagomedov of Russia celebrates his victory over 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)

Khabib is still the official champion, and he is undoubtedly the best in the division. He has beaten everyone at the top, convincingly so. A comeback fight looks unlikely, considering that he focuses his energy on the world’s business side. Still, the fans are hoping for a return to the octagon, and if it does happen, it will be amazing.

Do you think the UFC should move on from Khabib Nurmagomedov in the lightweight division?

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Aniket Awasthi

190 articles

Aniket Awasthi is a UFC author at EssentiallySports. This STEM undergraduate combines an insatiable urge to write with his admiration for MMA and the UFC in general to enhance his journalism. He calls charismatic names like Chael Sonnen and 'The Count' Michael Bisping as his favorite fighters, but he is a great admirer of the rise of Israel Adesanya ever since he fought Rob Wilkinson at UFC 221.

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