Khabib Nurmagomedov Says Only a Fight Against Muhammad Ali Would Have Forced Him to Come Back

Published 12/29/2020, 1:02 AM EST
ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – SEPTEMBER 07: Khabib Nurmagomedov of Russia prepares to enter the Octagon prior to his lightweight championship bout against Dustin Poirier during UFC 242 at The Arena on September 7, 2019 in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)


UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov announced his retirement after successfully defending his belt against Justin Gaethje at UFC 254 in October. There is still no clarity on whether Nurmagomedov will actually fight again or not. But “The Eagle” seems stern in his stance of retiring.

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In an interview with the Russian channel Match TV, the undefeated Dagestani champion was asked what fight can lure him to come back out of retirement. Nurmagomedov’s answer was nothing short of a savage one. He said only a fight against the legendary Muhammad Ali will force him to reconsider his decision.

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – OCTOBER 25: 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)

Perhaps with Muhammad Ali. But, unfortunately, he is no longer with us,” replied Nurmagomedov.

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The legendary Ali passed away in 2016. So, it seems like Nurmagomedov’s chances of ever fighting again are very slim.

NEW YORK, NY – NOVEMBER 04: Georges St-Pierre of Canada prepares to enter the Octagon prior to facing Michael Bisping of England in their UFC middleweight championship bout during the UFC 217 event inside Madison Square Garden on November 4, 2017, in New York City. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

A possible super-fight against Georges St-Pierre has been also on his radar. But with St-Pierre approaching 40, and with his inactivity for a considerable amount of time, there are many complications for the bout to ever materialize.

Khabib Nurmagomedov will announce his decision soon

Nurmagomedov will meet Dana White next month in Abu Dhabi to hopefully take a clear decision about his UFC career. Judging by his latest stance, it seems he is actually done competing.

LAS VEGAS, NV – OCTOBER 06: (R-L) Khabib Nurmagomedov of Russia attempts to submit Conor McGregor of Ireland in their UFC lightweight championship bout during the UFC 229 event inside T-Mobile Arena on October 6, 2018, in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Fans want to see Nurmagomedov clash once again with Conor McGregor. However, he finished the Irishman at UFC 229 and believes he has proved his point.

But with a motivated McGregor returning next month, the chances of these two arch-rivals crossing paths once again are not outside the realm of possibility.

What do you make of Nurmagomedov’s recent comments?

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Apratim Banerjee

703 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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