Khabib Nurmagomedov’s retirement appears to be short-lived.
Last Saturday, following a second-round victory over Justin Gaethje in the main event of UFC 254, the undefeated Russian put his gloves on in the center of the octagon and announced he called it a career.
After winning a record 29-0, Nurmagomedov said he promised his mother to withdraw from the competition after another fight, which came months after the tragic death of his father and coach Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov.
Now UFC President Dana White thinks “The Eagle” could fly again.
“I’m going to tell you this and I haven’t told anyone yet, but Khabib and I have spoken,” White revealed, addressing the Spectacle by Zach Gelb. “He was completely moved that night when he went through that fight. I have a feeling he could go for 30-0.
Nurmagomedov was understandably moved after his victory over Gaethje as he honored the memory of his late father with his performance.
Even his head coach, Javier Mendez, later said he had no idea that Nurmagomedov was planning to retire until he made the announcement in the octagon.
While Nurmagomedov seemed resolute in his decision, White believes the reigning UFC lightweight champion will be back for at least one more fight.
” I do [think he’s coming back]White said. “I think he won’t retire. His father wanted him to reach 30-0 and I think he wants to honor his father’s wish.
If Nurmagomedov is considering a return to action, there is no word on a potential opponent, although he has repeatedly said his dream fight would be against the former two-division UFC champion. , Georges St-Pierre.
Even St-Pierre, who retired in 2019, has frankly said he will only return for a fight that adds to his already strong legacy – and that a showdown with Nurmagomedov definitely qualifies.
Prior to UFC 254, St-Pierre had hinted at a possible comeback if the UFC considered reserving him against Nurmagomedov.
“I still have it – I would say I’m still in my best years,” St-Pierre said in October. “Will I regret when I turn 50?” Am I going to tell myself that I would have liked to have done this and I did not.
“It was a unique opportunity to fight a guy [in Khabib Nurmagomedov], who is undefeated, who has never been beaten and I could have been the first.
White has also previously teased that he had something special in mind for Nurmagomedov if he sent Gaethje, but those plans were scrapped following his retirement.
Now, it looks like White may have the chance to lure Nurmagomedov into another fight, but he’s still not ready to reveal his secret just yet.
“I didn’t even tell him that,” White said. “Because he was going to retire, so I didn’t even tell him. I’m not going to say anything publicly.