Is Khabib Nurmagomedov officially retired? Although he laid down the gloves inside the octagon after UFC 254, many speculated that Khabib would continue to fight. Even UFC President Dana White has eluded to the fact that it’s possible Nurmagomedov would continue fighting. Additionally, it’s worth noting that Khabib is still in the USADA testing pool and was recently tested after his last fight.
On official scorecards, Justin Gaethje won the first round of the fight against Khabib Nurmagomedov according to two out of three judges. Both men pushed the pace and respected each other. Gaethje was able to land hard leg kicks and stay alert during the fight. However, Khabib was able to walk through power shots, eventually grab Justin, and submit him in the second round. Usually, Khabib dominates his opponents with a vicious ground and pound. However, Khabib was conscious of the submission finish against Justin, and pre-determined the finish due to a reason he revealed later.
Khabib Reveals USADA Tests
Afterward, Khabib retired from the sport. Or did he? Recently, Nurmagomedov took to social media to share that he’s still being tested by USADA. Usually, when a fighter retires, they are officially out of the testing pool.
“This is 47 times since 2015, as I have been tested for doping of Usada.
Just think about this number,” wrote khabib.
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The testing raises the question; if Khabib is serious about retirement, why is he still being tested? Either his retirement from the sport has yet to be made official or, perhaps his plans have changed.
Moving the Division
Now that the UFC lightweight title is vacant, it would be tough not to consider Justin Gaethje to fight for the belt. All he’ll need is a partner to share the octagon with. The UFC has many different directions they could turn. Tony Ferguson, Michael Chandler, and Dustin Poirier are all waiting for a shot at the belt.
With Khabib officially retired, the division is now wide open. But, it’s possible that Khabib will return to recapture the throne.