‘I Don’t Understand What’s Going on There’- Daniel Cormier Reacts to Khabib Nurmagomedov Possibly Making a Soccer Debut

Published 02/23/2021, 2:17 PM EST


Khabib Nurmagomedov is enjoying his retirement doing some extracurricular activities in his free time. The UFC lightweight champion announced retirement after successfully defending his belt against Justin Gaethje at UFC 254 in October.

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Nurmagomedov hasn’t yet relinquished his belt, but the possibilities of him returning to the Octagon remain slim. ‘The Eagle’ is spending most of his free time playing soccer with stars like Clarence Seedorf and his training partners.

He also met Liverpool FC defender Virgil Van Djik recently as the latter is recovering from an injury at the moment. The champion has indicated that he wants to play the sport professionally.

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But Nurmagomedov’s good friend and former 2-division UFC champion Daniel Cormier doesn’t believe the chances of that actually ever happening.

I’ve never seen him play soccer. But this whole soccer thing. I don’t understand what’s going on there. Like I mean, I told him I was like, ‘You can’t play soccer dude, like you can’t possibly do’,” Cormier told Ariel Helwani.

Nurmagomedov was present at the famous Camp Nou arena recently as FC Barcelona hosted PSG in a crucial Champions League knockout match. He got a jersey from the hat-trick hero of that game, Kylian Mbappe.

Nurmagomedov also revealed with an Instagram post that as a child his dream was to become a professional soccer player, such is his passion for the sport.

It’s fascinating considering the amount of success Nurmagomedov has had in his MMA career. He was born in the hills of Dagestan. So MMA was a way out of distress for him. No doubt the choice has paid him well.

What lies in the fighting future of Khabib Nurmagomedov?

Nurmagomedov hasn’t officially been stripped of his belt yet. But still, the possibilities of him fighting inside the Octagon remain slim to none.

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He feels he is levels above the current contenders of the lightweight division. His undefeated record and wins over most of the current Top-10 contenders prove that point.

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)

If he walks away right now, he will be remembered as one of the greatest if not the greatest competitor in the promotion ever. But the UFC doesn’t want to let go of their undefeated Dagestani phenomenon go away just yet as they believe ‘The Eagle‘ is too young to retire yet and has a lot left in the tank. Maybe he can return to fighting after playing some soccer matches.

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What did you make of DC’s comments about Nurmagomedov playing soccer? Let us know below.

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Apratim Banerjee

885 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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