Khabib Nurmagomedov's coach, manager, and teammate give their thoughts on whether or not he comes back to the UFC.
Reigning UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov shocked the mixed martial arts world when he announced his retirement at the end of UFC 254 back in October of 2020. Nurmagomedov had just submitted Justin Gathje in the second round to successfully defend the lightweight championship for a third time. Since then, people have speculated whether or not 'The Eagle' will ever return to the Octagon.
The ones closest to Khabib Nurmagomedov have their own thoughts as well.
According to head coach Javier Mendez on an interview with The Schmo, Khabib never discussed retirement with him:
Mendez stated that he and Khabib Nurmagomedov never talked about retirement:
"We never discussed anything, he never told me he was going to retire. I never knew he was gonna retire, and we never talked about it. Okay, if you're retired, you're retired. If you're not, you're not. I'm with you no matter what. So if he says coach, let's get training, we'll get training. I never discussed 'are you really retired' with him, so I really can't say yes he's retired or no he's not retired, because I never really had that conversation with him."
Khabib Nurmagomedov has been with Javier Mendez and American Kickboxing Academy since 2012, right about the time he debuted in the UFC. Mendez coached Nurmagomedov to 13 straight wins in the UFC, including a lightweight title win and three title defenses.
Manager and teammate share their thoughts on Khabib Nurmagomedov's future with the UFC
One of the biggest names being linked to Khabib Nurmagomedov's possible return to the UFC is Hall of Famer Georges St-Pierre. A number of people close to Nurmagomedov himself believe that a showdown with the former two-division world champion would be enough to make him return.
In an interview with TMZ, Nurmagomedov's manager Ali Abdelaziz stated that a super fight with GSP is something that he 'could see happening':
"Honestly, I think if George St-Pierre is serious about coming back, that’s a fight I could see it happening, that would get Khabib out."
These sentiments have been echoed by one of Khabib Nurmagomedov's closest teammates Daniel Cormier. Cormier said on an interview with MMA Fighting's Damon Martin that he believes Khabib would come back for a shot at fighting GSP:
“It would have to be Georges St-Pierre. I believe that a big fight is what he would want in order to just prove himself. Like you said, Khabib Nurmagomedov is just trying to make history and a win over Georges St-Pierre would do exactly that for him."Published 09 Jan 2021, 10:40 IST