Khabib Nurmagomedov is still the UFC lightweight champion, says Dana White

Khabib Nurmagomedov, Dana White, Daniel Cormier, Daniel Cormier

UFC President Dana White says Khabib Nurmagomedov is still the UFC lightweight champion, despite his retirement announcement.

Nurmagomedov announced his retirement after an October submission victory over Justin Gaethje, citing a request from his mother that he cease fighting.

Since then, he’s reiterated that he he intends to stick to his retirement plans.

“My mother is the most precious thing I have left,” Nurmagomedov told Russian news outlet Sport24 recently. “Come on, you won’t push me to do things that will disappoint my mother.

“I have left it behind,” he added. “Don’t torment me, let me enjoy what I have for today. And just so you know, I’ve sacrificed a lot to get to this level.”

Despite these comments from Nurmagomedov, White has not given up hope that he can convince the unbeaten champion to return for one last fight.

In an interview with Tony Mui of Complex, the UFC boss continued that trend, clarifying that Nurmagomedov is still the UFC lightweight champion and adding that he intends to meet with Nurmagomedov in Las Vegas in the near future.

Nurmagomedov had previously revealed that he will soon meet with White in Las Vegas, but emphasized his belief that the lightweight division should be allowed to move on in his absence.

Prior to submitting Justin Gaethje in October, Khabib Nurmagomedov was riding impressive submission victories over top lightweight contenders in Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor—both of which marked successful title defenses.

Nurmagomedov captured the vacant UFC lightweight title in 2018, when he defeated Al Iaquinta, who stepped in to replace Tony Ferguson on just 24 hours notice. Other highlights of his flawless resume include decisive victories over Edson Barboza, Michael Johnson, and former UFC lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos.

Do you think it’s time for Dana White to accept that Khabib Nurmagomedov is retired?

This article appeared first on BJPENN.COM