It doesn’t sound like Khabib Nurmagomedov has been convinced to come back after UFC 257.
According to UFC President Dana White, last week’s meeting with Khabib Nurmagomedov led him to believe that the undefeated Russian could be persuaded to return if he saw something spectacular at this weekend’s event.
Nurmagomedov, who announced his retirement last October, was tuned in to UFC 257 and watched Dustin Poirier knock out Conor McGregor in the main event while he also witnessed arguably the greatest UFC debut of all time when Michael Chandler stopped Dan Hooker in the co-main event.
The lightweight division just got put ON NOTICE.
— UFC Europe (@UFCEurope) January 24, 2021
Khabib reacts after McGregor defeat.
Despite the two impressive wins for Poirier and Chandler in the lightweight division, Nurmagomedov seems to be content with his retirement and he was the only person who spoke to UFC President Dana White prior to the post-fight press conference.
White said: “I did talk to Khabib and he said to me, ‘Dana be honest with yourself. I’m so many levels above these guys, I beat these guys.’
This is what happened, when you change your team, leave the sparring partners who made you a champion and sparring with little kids, far away from reality.
— khabib nurmagomedov (@TeamKhabib) January 24, 2021
“I don’t know but it doesn’t sound very positive. What he said was what I told you guys before and he won’t hold the division up.
“He already retired. He’s basically retired. I’m the one who’s been trying to get him to do one more.”
In recent weeks, White did his utmost to tempt Nurmagomedov to consider the lucrative opportunity of a rematch with McGregor but the Irishman’s defeat on Saturday night likely leaves him a victory or two away from a UFC title shot.
McGregor & Khabib – what next?
In his post-fight interview, McGregor made it clear that activity was his priority moving forward and he seems determined to fight again as soon as possible.
And if Nurmagomedov’s fighting days are truly done then all signs point to a fight between Poirier and Chandler for the vacant UFC 155lbs title.