Khabib Nurmagomedov could return to action. Just don’t expect it to be against Conor McGregor or Dustin Poirier.
The UFC lightweight champion held a presser on Wednesday to announce his new mixed martial arts promotion Eagle Fighting Championships.
Naturally, he was quizzed about a return to the Octagon after announcing his retirement from the sport at UFC 254 in October — especially given that UFC president Dana White has repeatedly claimed he felt he would come back to go for a 30-0 record.
Interestingly, Nurmagomedov claimed he would end his retirement if his mother gave him her blessing.
Khabib Nurmagomedov officially announced the formation of Eagle Fighting Championship today.
The promotion's shows will be aired on #UFC Fight Pass.
Additionally, Khabib said he'll only end his retirement from MMA if his mother gives him her blessing. pic.twitter.com/kIunrkVD1b
— Chisanga Malata (@Chisanga_Malata) December 2, 2020
Nurmagomedov: I Choked Both McGregor, Poirier
However, fighting the winner of the upcoming UFC 257 headliner between McGregor and Poirier isn’t something that interests “The Eagle” — even if Dana White offered him boatloads of money.
Here is how the interaction went (via Russian journalist Igor Lazorin)
Me: Have you thought about what Dana White should offer you so that you think about resuming your career?
Khabib: First, he will probably offer money.
Me: Even without a fight?
Khabib: It will be hard for him to surprise me with any opponent. Who do you think he will offer me?
Me: I think that he will offer to fight against winner McGregor-Poirier.
Khabib: What for? I choked both. Why I should do this?
Me: For the UFC to capitalize on your rematch against Conor.
Khabib: Yes, only money. There is no sports interest there. I choked both of them, both were champions, both surrendered to me. As our proverb says: a horse doesn’t run until the donkey wins. Donkeys don’t even take part in competitions where horses run. I have no interest in fighting against these opponents. Imagine UFC offered you $100 million. This is already a problem. But there is no sports interest there.
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It’s safe to say that Nurmagomedov will only be returning for an opponent that interests him.
His top preference likely remains Georges St-Pierre, but many in the combat sports world are still holding out hope for that Tony Ferguson fight. For now, we’ll just have to see what transpires in the coming months.