UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov says that he only has a few fights left in his career before he retires from MMA.
“The Eagle” was recently on a conference call promoting UFC 242 and was asked how many fights left he has in his career. He says he doesn’t plan on hanging up his gloves just yet, but admits the time is coming soon.
Here’s what Nurmagomedov said (h/t MMAjunkie.com) to reporters.
“Good question,” Nurmagomedov said when asked if retirement is looming. “Not yet, but I’m not a young fighter. I’ve already been champion for years. I’ve already defended my title. This is my second defense. Of course, I don’t have a lot of fights ahead, because I don’t want to fight when I’m 40 years old. This isn’t my plan. We’ll see.”
According to the champ, he will talk to his team at American Kickboxing Academy and his family before he makes a decision one way or another.
“Before I make a decision, I have to talk with my father, I have to talk with coach Javier (Mendez), all my brothers, (my management team) Dominance MMA and all the people around me,” Nurmagomedov said. “I can’t make this decision alone. But right now, I’m focused on competition, because I have too much fire inside me.”
It seems kind of crazy to think that a dominant fighter in his prime like Nurmagomedov is even contemplating retiring. But Nurmagomedov has said that he believes fighting is a young man’s sport and that he wants to get into business after he’s done fighting.
Until then, he will continue to train and defend his belt. Nurmagomedov’s next title defense comes next Saturday at UFC 242 when he takes on Dustin Poirier in a title unification bout against the interim champ.
How many fights do you believe Khabib Nurmagomedov has left in his MMA career?