Will Khabib Nurmagomedov Come Out of Retirement to Fight Charles Oliveira?

Published 12/07/2021, 6:30 AM EST

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Charles Oliveira is the current UFC lightweight champion. The Brazilian reached the summit at UFC 262 when he beat Michael Chandler via second-round TKO. ‘Do Bronx’ came into the title fight on the back of an eight-fight win streak. He earned the title shot by beating one of the greatest lightweights of all time, Tony Ferguson, dominantly at UFC 256.

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Oliveira, who is currently in his prime, physically and mentally, will look to defend his title at UFC 269. He will take on Dustin Poirier, who is a former interim UFC lightweight champion.

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Charles Oliveira didn’t have an easy road to the title. He joined the UFC back in 2010 and changed his division a couple of times before returning to lightweight in 2017. ‘Do Bronx’ is currently unbeaten since 2018 and has some amazing records to his name. Oliveira has the most submission wins (14) and most finishes (17) in UFC history.

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A dominant run like this has made fight fans build up a fantasy matchup between him and Khabib Nurmagomedov. ‘The Eagle’ (29-0), a former UFC lightweight champion, retired from the sport as the champion in 2020. Although he beat some of the biggest names, many believe Oliveira can be a tough matchup for Nurmagomedov because of his grappling skills. Unfortunately, a fight between them may not happen as Nurmagomedov is staying firm on retirement.

Will Khabib Nurmagomedov return to face Charles Oliveira?

The Dagestan native announced his retirement from the sport in 2020. Ever since then, UFC President Dana White has been trying to convince him to get back inside the octagon, but he has stayed true to his decision. Nurmagomedov retired after the demise of his father because of COVID-19 related complications. His last fight was against Justin Gaethje, which he won via a triangle choke.

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In an interview with Brett Okamoto, Nurmagomedov was asked about the matchup if Oliveira cleared the division. He said, “I’m gonna say, at that time it was Khabib time, now Charles’ time. I’m not going to just jump to the media and say, Oh, I’m going to come back and fight with this guy. This is not interesting for me. Even if Charles Oliveira gonna beat Justin Gaethje, Islam, Dustin, everybody, this is his time. I’m going to be happy for him.”

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“He has right now an eight (fight) win streak. He beat a lot of good guys. Most of them, he finished them. He’s good, he’s very impressive. I think when he was losing back in the days in UFC, I think it was not his prime mental time. But right now I think Charles Oliveira is mentally and physically prime time.”

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Even though a fight between the two is guaranteed to be a banger, it doesn’t look like Nurmagomedov is coming out of retirement for it.

WATCH THIS STORY – UFC 269: Charles Oliveira vs. Dustin Poirier: Date, Time, Venue, Tickets, and Live Stream

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Written by:

Arunaditya Aima

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Arunaditya is a UFC writer at EssentiallySports. Having completed his Post Graduate Diploma in Multimedia Journalism from IIJNM, Arunaditya aspires to be an important voice in the world of MMA and interview the likes of Jon Jones, Conor McGregor, Amanda Nunes, and other such superstars of the sport. He has followed the sport for over a decade and is an ardent fan of Georges St-Pierre, who he believes is the greatest of all time.
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