Khabib Nurmagomedov has somewhat contradicted Dana White by reiterating that fighting is not in his plans for the future.
Dana White met with Khabib Nurmagomedov last weekend in a bid to convince the undefeated Russian to return for one final fight and the UFC President left with a feeling of optimism that Nurmagomedov would indeed be back in the Octagon.
White announced live on last Saturday’s UFC broadcast that Nurmagomedov wanted to wait until after UFC 257 – headlined by Conor McGregor vs. Dustin Poirier II – and could be persuaded to come back if someone won spectacularly in the main event or co-main event, which will feature Michael Chandler vs. Dan Hooker.
— UFC (@ufc) January 16, 2021
Nurmagomedov, who cornered cousin Umar Nurmagomedov to victory on Wednesday in Abu Dhabi, won’t be in attendance for UFC 257 but when pressed for clarification on the “spectacular” claim, the lightweight legend seemed to be leaning towards remaining retired.
“There must be some motivation, some hunger,” Nurmagomedov told Sport24ru. “If you’re not hungry, you know, I’ve been in sports for so many years. I’ve been doing it all my life. I have achieved almost everything in this sport, and there isn’t someone who I would like to fight now.
“I know that there are many fighters who would like to earn money, who strive for something. What should I do? A lot of people don’t want to understand my side. I don’t see that yet.”
McGregor continues to taunt Nurmagomedov, likely in the hopes of goading him into a rematch of their UFC 229 grudge match that ended in a submission win for ‘The Eagle’.
The fierce rivals missed each other by 30 seconds following McGregor’s arrival at the fighter hotel on Monday but it doesn’t sound like Nurmagomedov will rise to the taunts of the Irishman.
Contrary to White’s tentative confidence of setting up Nurmagomedov vs. McGregor II, the former appears to be content in retirement.
“If we talk about all my business projects, I have so much to do that is planned,” Nurmagomedov said. “And fights are not in these plans.
“I train for myself. The biggest thing that gives me pleasure is training. I enjoy when I wrestle, run, spar, work on pads, when I work on the punch bags. This is what I have been doing all my life, and I will continue to train constantly, as well. But if we talk about the fights, they are not a part of my plans.”