When Khabib Nurmagomedov announced his retirement in the Octagon after UFC 254, fans thought the logical next step would be to crown a new lightweight champion. Dana White on the other hand, says that those fans need to slow their roll on demanding the UFC put the title up for grabs.
Although it was somewhat shocking when Khabib announced his retirement after choking Justin Gaethje unconscious to retain his lightweight title, the general perception was that this retirement would be for good. That is, until White spoke in an interview last week, saying that he had talked to Khabib and that retirement may no longer be the plan for the Dagestani. Apparently Nurmagomedov was extremely emotional after the fight, unsurprisingly given the circumstances surrounding the contest, but he is giving thought to returning for one more fight, before retiring at 30-0 like his father wanted.
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Dana White Confirms That Khabib Is Still Champ
After Khabib Nurmagomedov announced his retirement it was expected that he would be off the UFC rankings as champion, but the only thing that changed was his pound-for-pound placing. Speaking recently at a post-fight press conference, Dana White confirmed that Khabib was still the undisputed lightweight champion. Moreover he explained that despite what some were thinking, there will be no vacant or interim title on the line, even for a fight between Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier.
“He didn’t say that he’ll fight or whatever but he didn’t say no,” White said. “He’s considering the 30-0. His father wanted it and I think that he was super emotional. He had the mumps or measles or whatever, broken toe, trained on a stationary bike for that fight and then came in and fought and I think he was super emotional.
“He’s still the champ. There’s no vacant title open right now or no interim title happening. He’s the champ and we’ll give him some time to figure out what he wants to do,” White continued. “I feel pretty good (about him fighting again). He said he was going to talk with his mother.”
Do you think we will be seeing Khabib Nurmagomedov fight again, like Dana White says? Or should there be a vacant title on the line soon?