KHABIB NURMAGOMEDOV was backed to cancel his retirement for one last fight by UFC boss Dana White after holding talks.
Nurmagomedov has announced the shocking news that he will be hanging up his gloves following his win over Justin Gaethje at UFC 254.
It was the first fight since the loss of his influential father Abdulmanap, who died at the age of 57 in July after contracting coronavirus.
The emotional Russian – who dropped to 29-0 – admitted he couldn’t fight without his mentor.
But White now believes that Nurmagomedov, 32, could return to complete 30 fights and honor his father’s legacy.
He said Spectacle by Zach Gelb: “I’m going to tell you this and I haven’t told anyone yet, but Khabib and I have talked,
“He was completely moved that night when he went through that fight.
“I have a feeling he could go for 30-0.
“I think he’s not going to retire. His father wanted him to reach 30-0, and I think he wants to honor his father’s wish. ”
Before submitting Gaethje, 31, to the second round on Fight Island, Khabib had confirmed that his father wanted him to retire undefeated in 30 fights.
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Preferably, the two wanted to take out welterweight legend Georges St-Pierre for their last fight.
But, with the option of retiring as the UFC’s No.1 pound-for-pound, Khabib seems satisfied with his decision after returning to Dagestan.
He said, “Of course Dana wants me to keep fighting and generating income.
“I can make money myself. I’m at the peak of my career and I can fight for some really big scholarships, but I’ve made this decision and I think it’s the best time.
“Not everyone can retire in their prime, but I know that in a year, two or five [years] I would have to face this decision again.
“I’ve done enough in sport to be considered the best. Today I was ranked # 1 pound for pound so the mission is accomplished.
“What else is there to do?” Earn money? I will always be able to do it. ”