UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov has contradicted the recent remarks of the promotion’s president, Dana White.
Nurmagomedov last fought at UFC 254 in October, when he defended the lightweight title with a second-round submission victory over Justin Gaethje. In his post-fight interview with commentator Jon Anik, he shocked the MMA world by announcing his retirement from the sport.
Despite that announcement from Nurmagomedov, White has made no secret of his plans to convince the champ to fight one more time, and late last week, the pair met face-to-face to discuss that possibility.
After that meeting, White claimed that Nurmagomedov would be willing to fight again if one of the UFC’s top lightweight contenders—namely Conor McGregor, Dustin Poirier, Michael Chandler and Dan Hooker, who all fight at UFC 257 this weekend—can wow him with an impressive performance.
Nurmagomedov, however, is offering a different account of things.
In a new interview, the lightweight champion claimed that he has no plans to fight again.
“I have achieved almost everything in this sport and there isn’t someone I would like to fight now,” Nurmagomedov told Sport24 after his meeting with White (via MMA Mania). “A lot of people don’t want to understand my side. I don’t see that yet. I train for myself. If we talk about all my business projects that are planned, fights are not in these plans.”
When Nurmagomedov announced his retirement, he explained that his mother was a big part of his decision to do so, as she wanted him to hang up his gloves.
In this new interview, Nurmagomedov emphasized that he doesn’t intend to go against his mother’s wishes, and is instead hoping to focus on helping his training partners, like his cousin Umar Nurmagomedov, who picked up a win at UFC Fight Island 8 on Wednesday.
“My mother is the most precious thing I have left,” Nurmagomedov said. “You won’t push me to do things that will disappoint my mother. I don’t even have plans for UFC in the near future. I don’t even have any thoughts about preparing for a fight. I saw how Umar was preparing now and I thought, Alhamdulillah (praise be to God) I left it behind.”
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