UFC welterweight contender Stephen Thompson says he sees “no need” for UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov to fight again.
Nurmagomedov has been in a quasi-retirement ever since submitting Justin Gaethje at UFC 254. Following that victory, “The Eagle” announced plans to hang up his gloves. However, UFC president Dana White has been trying his best over the last few months to coax Nurmagomedov into one more fight. The champ has said that he wants to see what happens at UFC 257 with all the top lightweights fighting on that card, and right now he’s made no final decision.
If you ask his peers, though, there’s no reason to fight again. Speaking to James Lynch of Fanatics View, Thompson — one of the most respected fighters in mixed martial arts — explained why he believes Nurmagomedov will retire.
Will Khabib Nurmagomedov ever fight again?
Stephen Thompson (@WonderboyMMA) gives his take
— James Lynch (@LynchOnSports) January 19, 2021
“No, no. Not at all,” Thompson said when asked if he thinks Nurmagomedov will fight again. “Khabib has made it where he’s like Conor McGregor status, to be honest with you. He’s up there. He’s the elite of the elite. He’s MMA royalty and for him to go fight somebody like (Dan) Hooker or any of those guys, it just doesn’t make sense. It doesn’t make sense.”
The welterweight contender did admit that if there is one fight for the champ to come back to, it’s a rematch with McGregor. That would be a big money fight, Thompson points out, but at the same time, he ultimately believes Nurmagomedov will deny McGregor another opportunity to fight him.
“The only way I would see him if he does come back would be a Conor fight. It would have to be a Conor fight. There is so much bad blood there that it’s not going to happen. I don’t think Khabib would give him that. I think Conor wants it. I think that would be a huge money fight, but I don’t think Khabib gives it to him. With that said, I don’t see him coming back. There’s no need for it. There’s nothing. Why?” Thompson said.
With UFC 257 taking place on Saturday night and with McGregor, Hooker, Dustin Poirier, and Michael Chandler all fighting, we should get an answer from Nurmagomedov very soon on whether or not he will ever fight again. But if you ask Thompson, Nurmagomedov has done everything he needs to do.
Do you think Khabib Nurmagomedov should fight again, or should he step away as Stephen Thompson suggests?