Dana White recently confirmed that former lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov was officially retired. However the Dagestani said that he has been retired for months.
When Khabib submitted Justin Gaethje at UFC 254, he announced his retirement in the cage, citing the difficulties of fighting without his father and coach, Abdulmanap. It was a decision that made people sad, but that the fans ultimately understood.
The one person who did not seem to get it though, was UFC President Dana White, who insisted that he was going to be able to convince the undefeated star to fight again. Yet finally, after months are trying, Dana conceded that Nurmagomedov would no longer be fighting.
Khabib Nurmagomedov Never Considered A Comeback
When Dana White confirmed that Khabib Nurmagomedov was retired, it was treated as if this was the official announcement of the Dagestani’s retirement. This was odd, considering that he has repeatedly expressed that he had no plans of coming back.
Speaking in a recent interview, Nurmagomedov confirmed that, despite White’s sentiments and desire to get him to return, he never contemplated fighting again. In fact, he says that he had that conversation several times with Dana, trying to convince him.
“No (I was never coming back), but Dana called this official. But I retired like five, six months ago,” Khabib said.
“It’s very funny, Dana told me when he posted this, he said someone wrote me a comment (saying), ‘He retired not today, he retired like five months ago.’
“It’s funny a little bit, but we had some conversations with Dana a couple of times. Like two days ago, we meet with him, sat and talked like two real men. We have a very good conversation with him, good dinner.”
That said, Khabib understands why it was so hard for others to grasp the concept that he was retiring, as an undefeated champion in his prime. He just hopes that people will grow to understand his position and accept his decision.
“It’s very hard when you have power, when you’re the best in the world, when you’re famous, when you have money and say (no) to everything, like these things. This is very hard,” Nurmagomedov explained.
“People maybe are never going to understand me but I really hope they’re going to support my decision, because everybody has their views. My views and my relationship with my mother, like I feel I have to stop because I feel like in every fight, in every training camp, everything, this is (difficult for) my mother. It’s like what do I have to do?”
What Is Nurmagomedov’s Legacy?
That is a question that will likely be pondered for years to come. After all, there is nobody who has had the type of career that Khabib Nurmagomedov had. Not only does he retire undefeated, but he does so without even coming close to being beaten.
To Nuramgomedov, it is the decision of the fans to decide where his legacy sits among all-time greats. He just knows that he did his job, and did it perfectly.
“Honestly, I don’t know (what my legacy is). This is the people’s decision,” Khabib said.
“When I was fighting, my job was smash my opponents and I did this perfectly. Nobody was close. I defended my title three times. I don’t know, this is the people’s decision.”
As much as fans may be disappointed at the idea that Khabib Nurmagomedov will never fight again, it is hard to fault him for his choices. Wherever he ends up in terms of the greatest of all time, there is no doubt that he had one of the most impressive careers ever.