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'I was gonna hammer on him for a while' - Dana White reflects on accepting Khabib Nurmagomedov's retirement

Khabib Nurmagomedov (left) and Dana White (Right) during UFC 229 press conference
Khabib Nurmagomedov (left) and Dana White (Right) during UFC 229 press conference
TOP CONTRIBUTOR
Modified 26 Mar 2021
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UFC president Dana White reflected on Khabib Nurmagomedov's retirement during the UFC 260 press conference. White told the media that Khabib might be done for good and we may never see him compete in the UFC again.

"I told you. I was gonna hammer on him for a while and try to get him to come back and fight when we got together. We got some great talks, we talked about a lot of things and he is ready to retire and I think he is done. I don't think he will come back," Dana White said.

Following his win over Justin Gaethje at UFC 254, UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov announced his decision to retire from professional MMA during the post-fight interview.

The Dagestan native is the biggest MMA star besides Conor McGregor and one of the most accomplished fighters of all time. Khabib's departure is certainly a big blow to the UFC's star power.

It took the UFC and Dana White over five months to accept his retirement. However, the UFC respected The Eagle's decision and White made the announcement through his social media accounts.

Khabib Nurmagomedov will not end his association with MMA after his retirement

Khabib Nurmagomedov's exit from the competitive sphere of MMA does not mean that the Dagestan native will not be involved in Mixed Martial Arts.

Following his late father Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov's footsteps, Khabib has been involved in coaching activities at his father's gym in Dagestan as well as the American Kickboxing Academy (AKA), the San Jose-based MMA gym that he has trained at for over six years.

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Javier Mendez, the head coach at AKA, confirmed in an Instagram post that Khabib will be part of AKA's coaching team after retirement.

'The journey between @khabib_nurmagomedov and @akajav will continue both being on the other side of the cage together this time :) ," Javier Mendez wrote.

Khabib Nurmagomedov has expressed keen interest in helping his teammates and friends achieve UFC glory. The Dagestan native is routinely seen cornering his teammates for their fights.

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Former UFC middleweight champion Luke Rockhold is Khabib Nurmagomedov's longtime teammate at AKA. Rockhold is planning to make his comeback to the UFC octagon after a long layoff and in a recent interview with TMZ Sport, Luke Rockhold revealed that Khabib wants to train him to prepare for the comeback fight.

"He’s assuming this coaching role now. He’s going off on me, wanting to coach me. He wants to be a big part of my comeback so it’s pretty funny to see Khabib assume this role,” Rockhold told TMZ Sports. “He’s going for Coach of the Year," Luke Rockhold told TMZ Sport.
Published 26 Mar 2021, 08:04 IST
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