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Khabib Nurmagomedov Says Charles Oliveira Will Not Be the UFC Champion in 2022

Published 06/01/2021, 8:10 AM EDT

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Former UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov is a busy man even though he has retired from in-ring action. He still follows the sport enthusiastically and has taken up more behind-the-ring responsibilities.

From launching his own MMA production Eagle FC to mentoring his close pals and brother for their stints in the octagon, the legend is still contributing towards the sport.

Recently, the Dagestani powerhouse appeared in an interview where he discussed his production requirements, the current fighters in UFC, and many more.

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He also gave his opinion on Islam Makhachev defeating the newly crowned UFC lightweight champion Charles Oliveira. “Of course I’ll say yes,” he said.

“I don’t think he’ll be champion when Islam rises to that level. It’s important that Oliveira doesn’t misinterpret my words. I respect him.”

The legend then went on to predict the champion Makhachev would face in the future. “I just think when Islam goes up the rankings after a year, there’ll be another champion. I think it’ll be Dustin Poirier,” he concluded.

Well, Khabib definitely knows more than a thing or two about the lightweight division. After all, he was the kingpin of the division and definitely has known everyone from close quarters.

Coming back to Poirier, he is the no.1 ranked fighter in the lightweight division. If not for his quest to fight McGregor for the third time in his career, he would have fought for the lightweight belt either in place of Oliveira or Chandler.

The ‘Diamond’ has grown leaps and bounds since his loss to McGregor in 2014. He has incurred only 2 losses in 14 fights since then. He recently avenged his loss against McGregor at UFC 257.

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Khabib Nurmagomedov and the $100 million story

Though Khabib has retired from the sport, there will always be news from here and there about his possible return. After all, he was not just one of the great fighters, he was also one of the best draws when it came to money-making.

His fight with McGregor at UFC 229 set a standard for pay-per-view buys. So, his presence around the sport will always interest the money spinners to somehow cash upon his name.

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In an interview with Hotboxin’ with Mike Tyson, Ali Abdelaziz talked about the possibility of a Khabib matchup with Georges St-Pierre and the boxing legend Floyd Mayweather.

The manager talked about how Khabib was offered $100 million for a fight with Mayweather after he retired. “But you know, Khabib got offered 100 million dollar(s) after he retired, by Floyd Mayweather. 100 million. 100 million.

“You can ask Floyd, you can ask everybody,” Abdelaziz added. “Khabib said ‘No, I’m retired. I told my mother I’m retired, you know? I’m gonna keep my word to my mother, you know?

“I’m gonna keep my word to my mother, right? If my mother told me to fight again, maybe I will. But right now she told me not to fight.'”

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Well, even Khabib agreed about the fight. “The enticement is always there. There were such discussions with Saudi Arabia. They wanted me to fight there. I don’t know about $100 million. That wasn’t the exact sum … but about that,” he told.

Khabib Nurmagomedov retired at a relatively young age and was in his prime. A matchup offering $100 million could entice anybody, but if that couldn’t get Khabib back in action, then one may wonder what would.

Do you agree with Khabib picking Poirier as the next champion?

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Written by:

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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