Will he fight again, or won't he? That has been the biggest question surrounding Khabib Nurmagomedov and the UFC since UFC 254.
After Nurmagomedov submitted Justin Gaethje to defend his belt and improve to 29-0, the Dagestani native announced his retirement from the sport. Khabib stated he couldn't fight anymore, following the passing of his father, and promised his mother Gaethje would be his last contest. However, over the past couple of weeks, Dana White has hinted the lightweight champion will return for one more fight, and that he plans on meeting with him early next month.
"I think that is what he is going to have to do. He will have to try and persuade him to fight. When you talk about people like Khabib Nurmagomedov, I asked Khabib once, I said how much money would it take for me to be rich in Dagestan, he said five million dollars and you are rich for the rest of your life. Khabib has much more than five million dollars so I don't know how much the money is gonna be the thing that draws (Khabib) back into the Octagon," Cormier said. "Dana is going to have to tap into something within his spirit to get him to fight again. He is one of those guys that doesn't need as much. He makes so much money outside the Octagon at this point, that it would have to be something that would drive him competitively to come back at fight. I don't think it will be money that will make him go back to the Octagon."
Who would Khabib Nurmagomedov fight?
Even if Khabib Nurmagomedov comes back, it would likely be for only one fight, as his father's wish was for him to go 30-0.
The option many fans point to immediately is the Georges St-Pierre superfight. It would be a legacy-defining fight for both men, as the winner could very well be the greatest of all time. With it also being Nurmagomedov's retirement fight, the bout could take place at a catchweight to make it more feasible. But St-Pierre is getting on in age, so it is now-or-never for the fight to happen.
The other option would be the Conor McGregor rematch. If the Irishman beats Dustin Poirier at UFC 257, the rematch would do massive numbers and be a huge payday. But with everything McGregor said about the champion's family and religion, and with Nurmagomedov not caring about money, it is uncertain if Khabib would even entertain coming back for the rematch with McGregor.Published 21 Dec 2020, 23:56 IST