Contrary to UFC president Dana White’s recent words, Khabib Nurmagomedov has no plans whatsoever on returning to the Octagon.
Nurmagomedov met with White in their long-awaited meeting last week to discuss whether the former would come out of his retirement late last year for one more fight.
White would then reveal on the broadcast of UFC Fight Island 7 that “The Eagle” would consider returning if he was impressed by a lightweight contender.
“His words to me were, ‘I’m gonna watch this fight.’ He said, ‘I would never tie up the division, hold the belt, keep the belt away from anybody else. These guys do something spectacular, show me something spectacular and make me want to come back and fight.’
“So I have the feeling that if somebody delivers, it could be on the co-main event or the main event and like I said he thought Oliveira looked good. Two fights coming up, Oliveira looked great — if these guys can do something special, Khabib will fight them.”
Nurmagomedov: Fighting Not Part Of My Plans
That’s not how Nurmagomedov seemingly feels though.
While he did state that something special has to happen for him to come back, it doesn’t seem to be in his plans whatsoever as of now. Neither did he mention anything about needing to be impressed by any lightweight contenders.
“Something has to happen for me to come back,” Nurmagomedov said in a recent interview with Russian media. “…And if we talk about all my business projects — I have so much to do that is planned and fights are not in these plans.
“… This [fighting] is what I have been doing all my life and I will continue to train constantly as well. But if we talk about the fights, they are not part of my plans.”
Not to mention, Nurmagomedov’s whole reason for retiring in October was a promise he made to his mother that his fight with Justin Gaethje would be his last following the death of his father.
“My mother is the most precious thing I have left,” Nurmagomedov added. “Come on, you won’t push me to do things that will disappoint my mother.
“… I don’t even have any plans for the UFC in the near future. I don’t even have thoughts about preparing for the fight. I saw how Umar [Nurmagomedov] was preparing now and I think: Alhamdulillah I have left it behind.”
As we suspected, the Eagle's @TeamKhabib version isn't aligned with what Dana told us.
"Fights are not in my future plans…My mother is the most precious thing I have left…you won’t push me to do things that will disappoint my mother". pic.twitter.com/RcvBrGSi7Q
— Riehmann (@RiehmannC) January 20, 2021
While most of that contradicts White’s words, it also begs the question why Nurmagomedov hasn’t simply vacated the title himself.