Khabib Nurmagomedov may not have fought his last UFC fight just yet, with Dana White predicting that we will get to see the Eagle compete once again.
The UFC lightweight champion announced his retirement after submitting Justin Gaethje in Abu Dhabi last weekend, taking his professional record to 29-0.
It was a shock decision from the 32-year-old, who had previously spoken of his plan to reach 30-0, but speaking to his mother after his father’s death earlier this year, Khabib decided to hang up his gloves earlier than planned.
White is not sure we have seen the last of the Dagestani, though, as the UFC president thinks Khabib will be tempted back into the Octagon to complete his goal to reach 30-0.
‘I’ll tell you this and I haven’t told anybody this yet, but Khabib and I have been talking,’ White told the Zach Gelb Show. ‘He was completely emotional that night when he got through that fight. I have a feeling that he might go for 30-0.
‘I do [think he’s coming back]. I think that he’s not going to retire. His dad wanted him to get to 30-0 and I think he wants to honour his dad’s wish.’
There had been much talk about Khabib’s 30th and final fight being against former welterweight and middleweight champion Georges St-Pierre, which would remain the most appealing bout for him.
The Canadian legend was happy to come out of retirement to fight Khabib, although said it would have to have been at a catchweight between welterweight and lightweight.
‘I would have considered it, yeah, of course. Who would not have done it?’ GSP told Ariel Helwani after Khabib’s win over Gaethje.
‘For a fighter, the most exciting things are also the most scary things to do.
‘Fighting someone who has an aura of invincibility, it’s also very scary but exciting for a competitor.
‘I would not have done 155lbs, even though I could make 155 it would affect my performance, it would have to be a catchweight in the middle.
‘I’m just blown away, what a great performance, what a great career.’
Whether that is what White has in mind for Khabib is not certain, although it would undoubtedly be a huge success in terms of global interest.
Before UFC 254, the UFC president had teased ‘something special’ for the lightweight champ after Gaethje, but he is keeping what that was/is a secret.
‘I haven’t even told him that,’ said White. ‘Because he was going to retire, so I haven’t even said it to him. I’m not going to say anything publicly.’
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