Khabib Nurmagomedov is still listed as the lightweight champion on the UFC’s ranking page. Not just the 155-pound champion, but Khabib Nurmagomedov is also the pound-for-pound No. 1 fighter in the UFC. Therefore, it seems, that the UFC has yet to strip ‘The Eagle’ of the lightweight title.
Khabib Nurmagomedov recently won UFC’s fan choice award for ‘Submission of the Year’. Khabib had defeated Justin Gaethje at UFC 254 via a triangle choke in the second round. He would then go on and shock the MMA community by announcing his retirement.
Khabib had lost his father and lifelong coach Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov in July of 2020 due to complications from COVID-19. He took the loss hard, and promised his mother that his fight against Gaethje would be his last. While there are speculations that Khabib might return for one more fight in the UFC, the Dagestani fighter has made it clear that he is retired for good.
Incidentally, his win against Gaethje also landed him at the top of UFC pound-for-pound rankings for the first time in his career.
While he is currently listed as the lightweight king, his retirement means that he will soon be stripped of the title to crown a new champion. However, we are still awaiting official confirmation from the UFC in this regard.
Will we see Khabib Nurmagomedov fight in the octagon in 2021?
Since his retirement at UFC 254, Khabib Nurmagomedov has been quite clear about the fact that he has no intentions of returning to the octagon.
In statements to various media outlets, the Dagestani fighter has stated that he has no ‘competitive’ desire left after accumulating an undefeated record of 29 – 0, which includes going 13 – 0 in the UFC.
Khabib Nurmagomedov also stated that he will be looking to complete his thesis and get his master's degree now that he has retired. He further added that he also plans on tending to his farms.
His business endeavours have included purchasing Russian promotion Gorilla Fighting Championship and rechristening it as Eagle Fighting Championship, as an homage to his father’s gym. He also recently launched ‘Eagle Mobile’, a mobile network service provider. All these developments hint towards Khabib not returning to the octagon anytime soon, if ever.
However, he has mentioned in the past that he is interested in fighting Georges St. Pierre. GSP might just entice Khabib to return to the octagon and try to achieve the landmark of going 30 – 0 in his MMA career.Published 06 Jan 2021, 16:07 IST