Khabib Nurmagomedov says it is very hard to say no to UFC president Dana White. Khabib's opinion of Dana White is about the latter's persistent efforts to bring the Dagestan native back to competition before accepting his decision to retire.
During his appearance on the UFC 260 Live weigh-in show, Khabib said that Dana White tried every possible method to convince him to reconsider the decision. Khabib also added that White finalized the vacant lightweight title bout between Charles Oliveira and Michael Chandler during their last meeting. White confirmed the fight in a phone call immediately after Khabib told him that his decision to retire would not change.
"It's very hard to say no to Dana White... sometimes he is nice, sometimes he is not nice... In the last meeting he (came) and said, 'Hey, what are we gonna do?' I (said) Nothing changed... It's my opinion that lightweight division has to move on. I don't want to hold the division... I hope you're going to understand my view... What do you think of it? Then Dana said, 'I have a call' and he said (on phone), 'Hey, this fight (Chandler vs Oliveira) is official'. He was waiting for my answer..." Khabib Nurmagomedov said.
Former UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov announced his retirement during the post-fight interview at UFC 254. Khabib is the biggest MMA star alongside fellow lightweight Conor McGregor. He is also an undefeated fighter who has set a new standard of competitive dominance with his formidable skillset. The financial and promotional implications of Khabib's retirement are considerable for the UFC. The UFC and Dana White have held multiple meetings with Khabib in the past few months to convince him to return.
However, Khabib Nurmagomedov adhered to his decision and Dana White broke the news of Khabib's retirement on his social media account in March 2021.
Daniel Cormier says Khabib Nurmagomedov's decision is proof of his confidence
Khabib Nurmagomedov's teammate Daniel Cormier responded to Khabib's account of his last meeting with Dana White. While appreciating Khabib for everything he has achieved during his 29-fight undefeated career, Cormier told his co-hosts that becoming the champion has been the primary focus of Khabib Nurmagomedov's life ever since they started training together. Khabib's retirement came at the highest point of his career while he was still the dominant champion. DC said Khabib's retirement during the championship reign showed his confidence in the decision.
"For a long time, when we were at it, he was coming up as a young fighter and he was the guy that wanted to be the champion. That's all he wanted, to be the champion. So for Khabib Nurmagomedov to walk away from this right now, tells you how confident and comfortable he is in his decision," Daniel Cormier said.