Khabib turned down recent comeback opportunity, says UFC president

Khabib Nurmagomedov recently turned down the chance to return to fighting, according to UFC president Dana White.

Nurmagomedov retired unbeaten in 2020, moments after retaining the UFC lightweight title by submitting Justin Gaethje.

The Russian, 33, now primarily trains other fighters, including compatriot and longtime friend Islam Makhachev, who will fight for the lightweight title in October.

Speaking on The Jim Rome Show about the possibility of a Khabib comeback, White said: “I just reached out to him recently to see if he’s interested in something, and he’s like, ‘I’m retired, brother. I’m done.’ I don’t think Khabib ever comes back.

“It was something different, I was trying to get him to do a grappling match. He’s like: ‘I’m done, I’m retired.’ I think that when his father passed away, that was a wrap for him, and he’s just focused on training other guys and helping them become world champions.”

Khabib’s father Abdulmanap died from Covid-related complications in July 2020, three months before his son retired from mixed martial arts.

Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov also coached Khabib, whose win against Gaethje marked a third straight successful defence of the UFC lightweight title.

All three of those results were achieved via submission, with the previous two coming against Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier.

Khabib’s professional MMA record stands at 29-0, with eight of his victories having come via knockout/TKO, 11 via submission, and 10 via decision.

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