Khabib Nurmagomedov and Dana White have not talked about vacating the UFC lightweight title or about his return.
The lightweight champion has revealed in a recent interview with Match TV that despite being in touch with him, the UFC president has not said anything about vacating the 155 pounds belt. Khabib Nurmagomedov suspects it is because UFC wants him to continue fighting in the promotion.
Khabib Nurmagomedov announced his retirement at UFC 254 after going through Justin Gaethje with a round-two submission win. Since then, he has repeatedly said that he has nothing more to get out of fighting and does not want to continue without his father.
However, he understands why Dana White and UFC might want it to be different. [Translation via: Google Translate]
"Dana White and I are constantly in touch - we did not discuss the moment about the vacancy of the belt. I think this is due to the fact that the organization really wants me to resume my career. This is understandable - I spent 9 years in the league, I had a lot of fights, became the champion, defended the title, never lost, I have a huge fan base from all over the world. My performances are already a kind of history."
Khabib Nurmagomedov retired from MMA undefeated, with a record of 29-0 in his professional career, and 13-0 in UFC.
Khabib Nurmagomedov: They have no one to offer me
Khabib Nurmagomedov is supposed to meet Dana White at Fight Island in Abu Dhabi during UFC 257 fight week next month. It is being assumed that they will either talk about his possible return, or about him vacating the title.
The desire of the UFC is understandable to me, I don't blame them. I will not hide - they persuade me to return. There is nothing surprising. They offer conditions, fighters - but this is hard to surprise me, they have no one to offer me. Soon, in a couple of weeks, we will meet with Dana and discuss."
When asked whether there is any chance of him returning to UFC, Khabib said that he would not like that. He stated that only the opportunity of fighting Muhammad Ali would motivate him enough to return, but that is obviously not a possibility anymore.
If Khabib does end up vacating the belt, he believes the winner of the Conor McGregor vs. Dustin Poirier fight will pick up the title. He named Islam Makhachev along with the other two as the top 3 fighters in the lightweight division at the moment.Published 29 Dec 2020, 01:26 IST