‘I Don’t Think He’ll Come Back’- Dana White Closes Doors on Khabib Nurmagomedov Return

Published 03/26/2021, 6:31 AM EDT
CHICAGO, IL – JANUARY 24: UFC President Dana White interacts with media during the UFC on FOX press conference on January 24, 2013 at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)


Former UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov is now officially retired from the UFC. UFC President Dana White and ‘The Eagle’, both confirmed that recently after a meeting between the duo. Although Nurmagomedov initially announced his decision after his successful title defense against Justin Gaethje at UFC 254, the promotion held on to the slimmest of hopes of luring him back.

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However, that is not the case anymore as Michael Chandler and Charles Oliveira will battle it out for the vacant lightweight belt at UFC 262. Recently, at the UFC 26o pre-fight press conference, White dismissed any hopes of seeing ‘The Eagle’ back in actin in the future for even a super-fight.

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Yeah, no, listen, I told you I was gonna I was gonna hammer on him for a while and try to get him to come back and fight we got together we had some great talks. We talked about lots of things and he’s ready to retire. You know? And I think he’s done, I don’t think he’ll come back,” said White.

Khabib Nurmagomedov to prioritize family over money

Many legends, such as Georges St-Pierre, and more have returned after announcing retirement. However, White dismissed those possibilities for the Dagestani altogether.

I think that when you see some of these guys come back, I think it’s from its monetary, I think it’s for money. And Khabib isn’t going to need any money anytime soon. So, you know, I just in the conversation, the last dinner that we just had, I feel like I feel like he’s done. He feels like it’s like his fighting was a lot of pressure on his parents.

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)

You know? And then what just went down with his dad and now he’s looking at his mom saying, I just can’t do this to my mother,” he added further on the topic.

Nurmagomedov has been part of some of the biggest fights in the history of the UFC. He has certainly done more than enough to be financially secure for life. Also, money is not a motivation for him. What matters is his legacy, and he has established his legacy like very few in the UFC and has retired undefeated.

Are we going to see ‘The Eagle’ as a coach?

As ‘The Eagle’ has been a lifelong martial artist, it’s hard to imagine him being detached from the sport completely. So, maybe it’s time for the fans to see the retired fighter in a new role.

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Nurmagomedov’s teammate Islam Makhachev is looking to make his mark in the UFC’s 155lbs division. ‘The Eagle‘ is mentoring him as he has high hopes for his peer. Also, the Russian, who trains at the famous AKA gym, is working with former middleweight champion Luke Rockhold in a bid to prepare him for his return.

How will Nurmagomedov fare as a coach? Will he create a pool of world-beaters? What do you think?

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Apratim Banerjee

693 articles

Apratim Banerjee is an MMA author for EssentiallySports and has been writing professionally for almost a year. Before his current gig, Apratim worked as a UFC writer for Sportskeeda. A long-time MMA fan, Apratim has developed a critical eye for the sport that has helped him transfer his vast knowledge to his copies and give hardcore and casual readers a detailed insight into the fights and fighters.

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