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Swedish soccer star Zlatan Ibrahimovic sends a special message to UFC champion Khabib Nurmagomedov

Khabib Nurmagomedov and Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Khabib Nurmagomedov and Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Anurag Mitra
SENIOR ANALYST
Modified 03 Mar 2021
News

AC Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic recently sent a special message to UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov. In a video released on Instagram, Khabib Nurmagomedov can be seen carefully listening to Ibrahimovic's words of wisdom.

The Swedish soccer player was telling Nurmagomedov to always believe in himself and his abilities. Ibrahimovic stated that when someone is the best at what they do, people will always try to get things to go against them. He advised Nurmagomedov to not be deterred by these type of people.

"If you feel young, you are young. If you train hard, you train hard. And if you know you're better than everybody, you're better than everybody. You just have to do it. People talk when you're number one. They just want to find something to go against you. It's always the same s*it," Ibrahimovic told the lightweight champion.

Khabib Nurmagomedov admires Ibrahomic and has previously referred to him as 'The Beast', captioning a collage of pictures of the Swede he posted on Instagram. He will have been delighted to receive such an inspirational message from one of his favorite soccer players.

Ibrahimovic has also praised Nurmagomedov on multiple occasions in the past. In an interview back in 2018, Ibrahimovic was asked to predict the outcome of the UFC 229 clash between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor. Ibrahimovic picked the Eagle to win the fight and fight fans know what followed.

But what was Ibrahimovic referring to when he spoke to Nurmagomedov? Could the Swede's message to Khabib be about the fighter's retirement from MMA? Only time will tell. Talking to Esquire Middle East in a recent interview, Khabib Nurmagomedov refused to confirm his retirement.

Is Khabib Nurmagomedov uncertain about staying retired?

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When asked if he will ever return to the Octagon again, Nurmagomedov replied:

"I think only time will answer this question. We will see."

UFC president Dana White remains hopeful that he can convince the Russian to return for another fight. While speaking to Tony Mui of Complex, White said that he will meet Nurmagomedov during the upcoming UFC 259 pay-per-view and discuss the UFC lightweight champion's future in MMA.

"The one that deserves to be the champion is the one that comes on top in this tournament. Khabib beat Conor (McGregor), Khabib destroyed Dustin (Poirier), Khabib is the man. He's the champ. He's the guy. If you look at the guys that deserve to be there it's whoever's gonna win out of the top five," said Dana White.
"We've got Poirier, Gaethje, Oliveira, Chandler and you still have Tony Ferguson and Conor McGregor in the mix still. We've not (moved on from Khabib). Khabib is the champion. Khabib's coming to Vegas. He and I are going to go to dinner and talk and see what's next," revealed Dana White.

Do you think Khabib Nurmagomedov will return to the Octagon to defend his lightweight title? Sound off in the comments.

Published 03 Mar 2021, 22:13 IST
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