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Khabib Nurmagomedov's manager has called 'fake news' on UFC champion's wish to stay retired

Khabib Nurmagomedov
Khabib Nurmagomedov
Anwesha Nag
Modified 20 Nov 2020, 23:33 IST

Khabib Nurmagomedov announced his retirement from MMA last month, following his third title defense of the 155-pound belt against Justin Gaethje.

The UFC lightweight champion said that he had no interest in fighting without his father, whom he lost earlier this year to COVID-related complications.

The MMA community has been divided ever since - one half is saying Khabib will return to try and take his undefeated streak to 30-0, and the other half is saying he will stick to his retirement plans.

Ali Abdelaziz hints at Khabib Nurmagomedov's possible return

Khabib Nurmagomedov himself has been quite straightforward about staying retired, but his manager Ali Abdelaziz says different. Anyone who has followed Khabib's career from up close knows the close relationship the two share.

Abdelaziz took to Twitter and called a report saying Khabib has no interest of returning, 'fake news'.

Abdelaziz has recently also emphasized that the only fight that makes sense for Khabib to return is the much-awaited contest with Georges St-Pierre. But GSP would have to agree to cut down to 155 pounds for that, otherwise it would possibly be a no-go from the UFC.

UFC president Dana White is also among those who believe he will return, and has said several times that he is confident that Khabib will certainly come back to the UFC, most recently to TMZ Sports.

"100 percent. I think there’s a good chance he does (come back). His father wanted him to go 30-0. Super emotional after that last fight. He’d been through a ton of sh*t. I think he will. Like I said, nothing’s done, but if I had to make a bet, and I am a betting man, I would bet that he does."

Khabib Nurmagomedov on his retirement plan

Khabib has not suggested that he will return since he announced his retirement.

Instead, he has been talking about completing his studies and focusing on agriculture. Russian news outlet TASS reported that he spoke at a meeting with young people in Derbent, Dagestan.

"You can fight until you’re 40 but there should be a goal. I had a goal to reach the summit and I got there. Further, I have no competitive interest. Next year I will graduate. I’d like to (build on) my thesis, do a masters course, dedicate more time to studying. I’ve bought sheep, I tend to my farm. I’d like to develop in this field a little. I have the bull calves out to feed, I have cows." (Translation: RT Sport)

Khabib still holds the lightweight title and is still in the USADA pool of drug testing. 

Published 20 Nov 2020, 23:33 IST
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