Dana White has been doing everything in his power to convince lightweight champ Khabib Nurmagomedov not to retire. It seems he will be trying once more, but the Dagestani feels that the division should move on without him.
For all intents and purposes, Khabib has been retired since last October. This was when he beat Justin Gaethje, and announced that he was done competing inside the Octagon, due to the passing of his father and coach, Abdulmanap.
Since that very night, Dana White has insisted that this retirement just came from a place of emotion, and that he would persuade Nurmagomedov to fight again. Nevertheless, the champ has maintained that he will not compete, even getting Dana to change his tune after Conor McGregor lost at UFC 257.
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Khabib Wants The Division To Move On
Even though Dana recently seemed to come to terms with Khabib Nurmagomedov retiring, it would appear that he has not completely given up hope. This revelation came from a recent interview that Nurmagomedov recently.
Here the lightweight champ revealed that he plans on meeting with the UFC President one more time. According to the translation, Dana is looking for a lightweight title fight in the spring, but wants to talk with the Dagestani and try to convince him to fight one last time.
“I’m focused on my own big projects, four or five of them. I have to spend time on them,” Khabib said.
“As for my career as a fighter, I don’t want to go into details. Dana’s an honest person, we always had an honest relationship. I think he’ll let the media know the message that I sent him a week ago.
“It’s not a secret, I just told him how I’d like things to develop, not only related to me, but the lightweight division in general. I told [Dana] I don’t want the division to be held up. But on the other hand, fighters have only just been in action and people already understand in general who we’ll see fighting for the title.”
“I know they’re already making plans, I think for around May or June for a title fight,” Khabib added.
“But between who? Dana told me he isn’t done yet. I can say that. When I told him the lightweight division needs to move on, he told me he isn’t done.
“He said to me, ‘When you fly to Vegas at the end of February, we’ll sit down and talk.’ Dana needs to make some kind of decision. But whatever the decision, I’ll agree with it.”
As for what he would like to see happen with the division, Khabib says that he feels that Dustin Poirier is deserving of the lightweight title after beating Conor McGregor. That, plus the lengthy resume that the Diamond already has.
“Poirier deserves to be champion, that’s my personal opinion,” Khabib said. “Look at who he’s fought. Jim Miller, Eddie Alvarez, Anthony Pettis, Max Holloway. He’s fought me, Conor – these are all top fighters, maybe fighters who will end up in the UFC Hall of Fame.”
Do you think Dana White will be able to convince Khabib Nurmagomedov to fight again?