Khabib Nurmagomedov has given his opinion on where his lightweight title will eventually end up.
Despite his October retirement, Khabib Nurmagomedov remains the official UFC 155lbs champion and is still ranked as the pound-for-pound best fighter in the world by the promotion.
Nurmagomedov insists his fighting days are over and he has revealed how he thinks the next champion will be determined.
Naming Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier as two of the top three lightweights in the world, Nurmagomedov predicted that the winner of the rematch between ‘The Notorious’ and ‘The Diamond’ will go on to hold the title at 155lbs.
“Top three [lightweight] fighters right now?” Nurmagomedov told told Match TV via translation by RT Sport. “Poirier, McGregor and [Islam] Makhachev. He is not in the top five yet, but those are the best fighters.
“My belt will [eventually] be taken by the winner of Dustin and Conor.”
After submitting Justin Gaethje in the main event of UFC 254 two months ago, Nurmagomedov announced that he was hanging up his gloves as he made a promise to his mother that he would retire after the unexpected death of his father earlier this year.
In spite of that, UFC President Dana White remains optimistic of convincing the undefeated Russian to return to the Octagon one last time in an attempt to close out his career at 30-0.
Nurmagomedov believes that is the reason he has not yet been asked to vacate the title he has held since 2018.
“Dana and I are in touch and did not discuss the moment with the vacant belt,” Nurmagomedov continued. “This is because they want me to continue.
“This is clear – I have been in the league for nine years and have not lost. I have a story, a big fanbase.
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) October 24, 2020
“I don’t blame them and their desire is understandable. They persuade, I will not hide, but this is not surprising.
“They offer conditions and fighters, but it’s hard to surprise fighters. I finished half of the top 10 ahead of schedule.
“And so yes, I repeat: there are conditions and offers. In a couple of weeks, Dana and I will discuss all the points. I would not like to have the likelihood of my return.”