Dan Hooker weighs in on Khabib Nurmagomedov’s future: “As far as I’m concerned, the guy says he’s retired”

Dan Hooker
Image via @danthehangman on Instagram (photographer not listed)

Dan Hooker, who is days out from a UFC 257 fight with Michael Chandler, is taking Khabib Nurmagomedov’s retirement announcement at face value.

Nurmagomedov, the UFC lightweight champion, retired after defending his belt with a second-round submission of Justin Gaethje in October. Despite that announcement, UFC President Dana White has been adamant that he’ll attempt to convince the champ to fight one more time in an effort to push his record to 30-0.

Last Friday, White and Nurmagomedov met in Abu Dhabi to discuss that possibility. White later revealed that Nurmagomedov will consider fighting again if any of the lightweight stars of UFC 257—Conor McGregor, Dustin Poirier, Michael Chandler and Hooker—impress him enough to do so.

Ahead of his fight with Chandler, Hooker admits that the drama surrounding Nurmagomedov has added an extra layer of interest to his fight.

“That’s like in the back of my head, what is going to come from this,” Hooker told MMA Junkie. “But I definitely know that something big is going to come from this because it’s high risk and this is the sport of people that take the risks get the rewards. They went down the list trying to find an opponent for Chandler.

“No one wanted to take the risk, and this is the way this sport works: You take the risk. I flew over here. I’m fighting the unknown fighter. I’m taking the risk, so that warrants getting the reward for that, right? Whatever that may be.”

That being said, Hooker believes Nurmagomedov will stay retired.

If that’s the case, the Kiwi is undeterred, as his priority is fighting for the belt, no matter who’s holding it.

“As far as I’m concerned, the guy says he’s retired,” Hooker said. “If you say you’re retired, in my mind you’re retired. My focus is to fight the best in the world. My focus is to fight whoever is holding the belt, and that’s whoever that may be.”

What do you think of these comments from Dan Hooker? Do you think Khabib Nurmagomedov will stay retired or fight one more time?

This article appeared first on BJPENN.COM