Dana White: “There’s still a chance” Khabib Nurmagomedov will fight again

Khabib Nurmagomedov, Dana White, Daniel Cormier, Daniel Cormier

UFC President Dana White believes “there’s still a chance” Khabib Nurmagomedov will fight again before all is said and done.

Nurmagomedov, the UFC lightweight champion, announced his retirement after he submitted Justin Gaethje in October.

Despite that announcement from Nurmagomedov, White has been optimistic that the lightweight star can be convinced again, and still seems to be clinging to that hope.

“Let some of these fights play out to see who would fight next for the title,” White told ESPN’s Marc Raimondi (via Bleacher Report). “I think if Khabib is interested, he’ll take the fight. … There’s still a chance.”

Despite White’s optimism, Nurmagomedov has made it pretty clear that he has no intentions of fighting again, and that a new lightweight champion should be crowned in his stead so the division can move on.

“I’m focused on my own big projects, four or five of them—I have to spend time on them,” Nurmagomedov told Russia’s Match TV in February (translation via RT Sport). “As for my career as a fighter, I don’t want to go into details. Dana’s an honest person, we always had an honest relationship. I think he’ll let the media know the message that I sent him a week ago. It’s not a secret, I just told him how I’d like things to develop, not only related to me, but the lightweight division in general. I told (Dana) I don’t want the division to be held up. But on the other hand, fighters have only just been in action and people already understand in general who we’ll see fighting for the title.

“I think intrigue will appear in the lightweight division as soon as they decide the title fight and eliminator,” Nurmagomedov added. “At the moment, it’s held up and not clear what Dana’s thinking. I think it’s going to be on fire in the lightweight division this summer. The lightweight division has always been the most competitive, the most interesting, with big stars. It will take new turns this summer… a new, younger, generation is already coming, plus there’s [Michael] Chandler, [Charles] Oliveira, [Dustin] Poirier, [Justin] Gaethje, a lot of good fighters. With that mix, it will be interesting this summer and towards the end of the year.”

Do you think Khabib Nurmagomedov will ever fight again?

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