However, the UFC president has now revealed that he couldn't even urge the former lightweight champion to compete in a grappling match.
During an interview with Jim Rome, White was asked for an update regarding the recently inducted UFC Hall of Famer. The promoter reportedly said he reached out to Khabib to see if he's interested in competing again, but to no avail:
"It's funny that you asked or it's weird that you asked me that question, actually," White told Rome. "I just reached out to him recently to see if he's interested in something and he was like, 'I'm retired, brother. I'm done.' I don't think Khabib ever comes back."
White made it clear, though, that his offer was for the Russian to take part in a grappling match. After his latest attempt, White said he's convinced 'The Eagle' isn't ever coming back to combat sports:
"It was something different, I was trying to get him to do a grappling match. He's like, 'I'm done. I'm retired.' ... I think that when his father passed away, that was a wrap for him and he's just focused on training other guys and helping them become world champions."
Check out Dana White's update on Khabib Nurmagomedov:
Dana White explains why Khabib Nurmagomedov isn't the UFC GOAT
As stellar as Khabib Nurmagomedov's legacy is, Dana White doesn't think he's the greatest UFC fighter of all time.
White recently collaborated with GQ Sports for a video in which he was tasked with answering fan questions from all over the internet. During the segment, a fan asked White if he thought Nurmagomedov should be considered the GOAT (greatest of all time).
The UFC boss admitted that 'The Eagle' is talented enough to make that claim. However, he argued that the Russian retired too early to be considered the best of all time. He added that it's difficult to deny that Jon Jones is the GOAT, especially if he wins his long awaited heavyweight debut:
"It’s so hard," White said. "Obviously, he is talented enough. You know, who knows what he could accomplish, but he retired too early. I mean Jon Jones is probably gonna fight at heavyweight this year. You know, whatever you think about Jon, it’s hard not to call him a GOAT."
Catch Dana White's answers below: