Ali Abdelaziz emphatically denies reports that Khabib Nurmagomedov has retired

Khabib Nurmagomedov, Justin Gaethje, UFC 254
Image via @ufc on Instagram

Manager Ali Abdelaziz took to social media this afternoon to shutdown reports that his client Khabib Nurmagomedov has retired from MMA.

The reigning and undefeated UFC lightweight champion, Nurmagomedov (28-0 MMA), recently lost his father due to complications from the Covid-19 virus. Shortly following that tragic news Russian Media outlets began reporting that ‘The Eagle’ has decided to retire from MMA.

Ali Abdelaziz, the long time friend and manager of Khabib Nurmagomedov, took to Twitter this afternoon where he emphatically denied those reports.

“Some of the Russian media reported I said Khabib is retired. This is absolutely false. Khabib is grieving with his father passing away. I want everyone to be respectful to the situation and don’t give fake news.”

Nurmagomedov was most recently seen in action at September’s UFC 242 event, where he scored a third round submission victory over Dustin Poirier.

‘The Eagle’ was slated to defend his lightweight crown against Tony Ferguson at UFC 249. However, that bout ended up falling through for an unprecedented fifth time due to travel complications caused by the Coronavirus.

With that, the UFC booked Justin Gaethje to step up and fight Tony Ferguson at the event, a bout which ‘The Highlight’ wound up dominating on route to capturing the promotions interim lightweight world title.

Khabib Nurmagomedov, Justin Gaethje

Khabib Nurmagomedov is now slated to square off with Justin Gaethje in a title unification bout later this summer. However, due to his fathers passing, ‘The Eagle’ could be sidelined for longer than originally anticipated.

Prior to his victory over Poirier at UFC 242, Nurmagomedov was coming off a fourth round submission win over former two-division champion Conor McGregor at UFC 229.

Do you think Khabib will be able to retain his lightweight title when he squares off with surging contender Justin Gaethje later this year? Share your thoughts in the comments section PENN Nation!

This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on July 11, 2020