Khabib Nurmagomedov remains firm in retirement from the UFC

Today we saw an interview drop from ESPN’s Brett Okamoto with former UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov (29-0). This was the first time since late last year that we’ve seen an in-depth interview with the former champion.

Nurmagomedov last fought at UFC 254 in October when he choked out Justin Gaethje in the second round to retain his lightweight title. An emotional Khabib collapsed in tears after the fight concluded.

Earlier in the year, Khabib had lost his father due to COVID-19 complications. Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov was not just Khabib’s father, but also his head coach. Khabib was incredibly close with his father and was transparent about how it was hard to compete without him.

Prior to UFC 254, Khabib made a promise to his mother that the October fight would be his final one. Being a man of his word, Khabib laid his gloves in the octagon after the win and officially announced his retirement.

However, that didn’t stop Dana White from trying to get him back. The UFC President tried for months to change Khabib’s mind. In fact, he recently offered Khabib a fight with fellow legend Georges St. Pierre (26-2). However, Khabib remained firm and stayed retired.

Would anything bring Khabib back to the UFC?

Months ago, Khabib’s friend and training partner Daniel Cormier mentioned a scenario that could bring Khabib back. The scenario involved Charles Oliveira (31-8, 1 NC) going on a massive run and defending his title multiple times.

Among those successful title defenses would be a win over Khabib’s protégé Islam Makhachev (19-1). Okamoto asked Khabib about this scenario and whether or not he would consider coming back to prove to the world that he’s the best.

With a smile, the former UFC champion said, “If everything happens like you say, I will say, ‘At that time, it was Khabib’s time, now it’s Charles’ time’. I’m not going to just jump to the media and say I’m going to fight this guy, that’s not interesting for me.”

Khabib is happy with the way his career panned out. The thing he takes the most pride in is that at the moment he retired, he was the UFC’s top pound-for-pound fighter in the rankings. Khabib said he doesn’t consider himself to be the greatest, but he considers himself to be on the level of the other greats.

However, at one point in time, he was without a doubt the best fighter in the world. Now, Khabib is focusing on his post-fighting career which focuses coaching. He said his father always wanted Makhachev to take over the lightweight division after Khabib retired from the UFC.

Khabib acknowledged with a smile that Islam is a little late on his end of the bargain. However, the former champion aims to do everything he can to make Islam Makhachev a lightweight champion in the UFC just like his father wanted. You can see Khabib’s full interview below.

UFC recently attempted to make Khabib Nurmagomedov – Georges St. Pierre per Ali Abdelaziz

The UFC recently attempted to make a fight between two of the greatest to ever do it. At least, that’s according to the manager of one of those men, Ali Abdelaziz.

Abdelaziz said on his appearance of Hotboxin’ with Mike Tyson that the UFC wanted to make Khabib Nurmagomedov (29-0) – Georges St. Pierre (26-2). This potential dream fight almost became a reality in the last couple of weeks.

For the last year or so, Dana White hadn’t expressed any interest in having GSP fight Khabib. However, that apparently changed in the last couple of weeks. Abdelaziz said that the UFC got in touch with him about his client, Khabib Nurmagomedov.

Abdelaziz said, “Two weeks ago ago, Dana White called me. He said, ‘Georges St-Pierre said he’ll fight Khabib in a non-title fight at 165 pounds.’ In a way, we’ve been waiting for Georges.”

Of course, Khabib Nurmagomedov relinquished the UFC lightweight title officially earlier this year when his retirement was confirmed. Nurmagomedov had announced at UFC 254 that he was walking away from the sport.

The UFC dream match that never happened

Khabib said that he promised his mother that UFC 254 was his last fight and he plans to honor that promise. According to Abdelaziz, the former UFC lightweight champion also turned down $100 million to box Floyd Mayweather.

For years, Daniel Cormier has said that Khabib wouldn’t take any fight because of money. It’s pretty obvious now there’s truth to what Cormier was saying. You have to imagine the UFC’s offer was massive to have him fight GSP.

A matchup between GSP and Khabib is a fight fans dream. Of course, it would have been better if GSP was in his prime, but still, UFC fans all around the world would be glued to their televisions for that one.

It’s a matchup that will stay in the barbershop for now. Who would win? We will never know, but it will be a fun topic to debate. It’s just pretty remarkable that the UFC was pushing to make this fight happen just in the last few weeks. You can see Abdelaziz’s appearance on Hotboxin’ Here. 

Tony Ferguson on former UFC champ Khabib: ‘Quit running… Sign on the dotted line’

Tony Ferguson, UFC

Years from now, UFC fans are still going to be talking about one of the greatest lightweight matchups that never happened. That matchup would be the matchup between former UFC champion, Khabib Nurmagomedov (29-0), and former interim champion, Tony Ferguson (25-5).

For years, Ferguson and Khabib were linked to each other. They were looked at as the two best lightweights in the UFC, but their paths never crossed inside the octagon despite the promotion trying multiple times to book the fight.

The UFC booked Nurmagomedov – Ferguson five total times over the last few years. Every time that the fight was booked it fell through. There was weight cutting issues, injuries, and then a global pandemic to top it all off.

They were last scheduled to meet at UFC 249. However, when the pandemic shut travel down, Ferguson took on Justin Gaethje for the interim title. Gaethje defeated Ferguson and fought Nurmagomedov on Fight Island in October.

After Khabib defeated Gaethje at UFC 254, he announced his retirement in the cage. Last month, the retirement was made official and he relinquished his lightweight title. That lightweight title is up for grabs next month at UFC 262.

That same night, Tony Ferguson is scheduled to take on Beneil Dariush. Ferguson is looking to snap a two-fight losing streak. However, even with that going on, Ferguson is still focused on Khabib Nurmagomedov.

Would Khabib come back to the UFC?

Ferguson appeared on Ariel Helwani’s MMA show today where he talked about his desire to face the former UFC lightweight champion.

“I’m getting closer to Khabib and that’s the only fight that his pops wanted for him and that’s the only fight that they agreed to still. But he’s going to watch, man. They’re gonna try to get as much film on me as they possibly can. Quit being a bitch. Quit running and sign on the dotted line, Khabib”

Perhaps if Ferguson can reel off several wins in a row, the former UFC champion would come back. Khabib’s teammate Daniel Cormier said last month that if someone were to ever defeat Islam Makhachev that Khabib would potentially consider coming back.

Makhachev is another training partner of Khabib’s and a lifelong friend. If Ferguson wins his next matchup, perhaps the UFC pairs him up with Makhachev. Who knows, maybe Ferguson – Khabib isn’t dead. It could just be on life support.

BREAKING: UFC books Michael Chandler – Charles Oliveira for the lightweight title

As I’m writing this, I feel like my head is spinning from all of the UFC news this evening. The promotion finalized a couple of incredible main events in the bantamweight division, then we got the announcement that Khabib Nurmagomedov is staying retired. 

Just when you thought the news was over, the UFC had other plans. ESPN’s Brett Okamoto has reported that the headliner of UFC 262 on May 15th will be for the lightweight championship. Former Bellator champion, Michael Chandler (22-5) will take on Charles Oliveira (30-8, 1 NC).

The lightweight division has been in a state of limbo over the past few months. Dana White has been trying to convince Khabib Nurmagomedov to come back for one more fight, but the UFC‘s lightweight champion has stuck to his guns and is staying retired.

With that, it’s time to move on. Charles Oliveira is getting the title shot that he’s been holding out for. Oliveira has turned down multiple fights because he’s wanted to fight for the UFC title and the promotion is granting him that wish.

Oliveira has gone on an incredible run in the UFC‘s lightweight division. Do Bronx has won eight fights in a row including one over former interim champion, Tony Ferguson. Seven of those eight wins have been finishes.

UFC title shot for the former Bellator champion

Michael Chandler was the biggest MMA free agent signing in 2020. After knocking out Benson Henderson to close out his Bellator contract, all of the top promotions ended up in a bidding war for his services.

Ultimately, Chandler wanted to face the best competition which is why he signed with the UFC. He made his debut with the promotion back at UFC 257 in the co-main event against Dan Hooker.

Chandler closed as a betting underdog, however, Chandler went out and knocked Hooker out in the first round. With that performance, he showed everyone in the UFC that he’s not here just to take part.

Just this week, there were rumors surrounding Chandler potentially fighting Justin Gaethje next. However, Gaethje recently said that he wants a minimum of 12 weeks before his next fight. With that, the UFC shifted gears and now Oliveira and Chandler will battle it out for the lightweight title on May 15th.

BREAKING: Dana White announces UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov is officially retired

The UFC lightweight division will officially crown a new champion in 2021. Dana White came out this evening and announced that lightweight champion, Khabib Nurmagomedov (29-0), is officially retiring at 29-0.

Back in October at UFC 254, Khabib announced his retirement after he defeated Justin Gaethje. However, Dana White has insisted that he believed Khabib was feeling the emotions of the moment and he thought he’d come back to try for 30-0.

For months, we’ve been in this weird limbo with the lightweight division. White continued to say that the UFC lightweight champion wasn’t officially retired and they held a number of meetings to talk about his future.

Finally, Dana White has thrown in the towel. Khabib Nurmagomedov is staying retired and the lightweight division will move on. The UFC president announced the news on his Twitter account that Khabib is going to retire at 29-0.

Khabib’s UFC Legacy

In the sport of Mixed Martial Arts, it’s extremely rare to see someone retire undefeated. If you think about all of the greatest fighters to have ever fought in the UFC, nobody walked away with a perfect record.

Jon Jones is widely considered the greatest to ever do it. However, even Jones has a no contest and a DQ loss on his UFC record. Khabib Nurmagomedov has a clean 29-0 and nobody can say anything.

The UFC’s lightweight division has been the most exciting and dynamic division within the promotion over the last few years. Khabib has reigned supreme and he’s taken out all of the top challenges in dominating fashion.

Outside of Khabib, four men have held a piece of the UFC lightweight title since 2017. Those four men are Conor McGregor, Dustin Poirier, Justin Gaethje, and Tony Ferguson. Khabib dominated and finished the first three men on that list.

The fight that we never got to see was Khabib against Tony Ferguson. The UFC booked that fight five times, but all five times it fell through. It truly wasn’t meant to be, but considering the direction their careers have gone, I believe most people think Khabib would have won that one too.

Simply put, Khabib is one of the greatest to ever make the walk inside the UFC. His dominance was something truly special to watch and it’s easy to see why Dana White so badly wanted him to fight again.

Khabib is keeping the promise he made to his mother after his father passed away from COVID last year. The UFC’s lightweight champion promised his mother that the Gaethje fight would be the final one and despite White’s best pitches, The Eagle is keeping his promise.

UFC: Khabib Nurmagomedov will remain lightweight champion for the foreseeable future per Dana White

The UFC‘s lightweight title is staying with Khabib Nurmagomedov (29-0) for the time being. In fact, it looks like he’s going to remain the champion for the foreseeable future if you ask Dana White.

Yesterday, the UFC president sat down with ESPN’s Brett Okamoto to discuss the lightweight title picture. Khabib said he was done fighting after he defeated Justin Gaethje (22-3) at UFC 254. If you ask Khabib, he hasn’t said anything else other than he’s done since then.

However, Dana White has been very vocal about Khabib coming back for one more fight. For that reason, White has refused to take away the lightweight title from the undisputed champion. Pundits and fellow fighters want the division to move on, but White truly believes Khabib isn’t done.

White told Okamoto that the UFC champion will meet up with him in Las Vegas for another dinner to discuss the future. While that might make fans roll their eyes, White did bring up a very valid point about his discussions with Khabib.

White mentioned the fact that if Khabib had zero interest in fighting, he wouldn’t even take the meeting. For that reason alone, White believes that there is still hope that Khabib comes back for at least one more title defense in the UFC.

What does that mean for the UFC’s lightweight division?

In the interview, White talked about the state of the lightweight division. He said the top seven is extremely stacked in the UFC and he said that all of these guys need to fight it out. After that, you’ll either see a new champion or new challenger for Khabib.

The UFC is moving down the path of booking Dustin Poirier (27-6, 1 NC) – Conor McGregor (22-5) 3. White said that the fight between those two wouldn’t be for a title. That of course derails any fans’ hope of seeing a belt on Dustin Poirier anytime soon.

White said in the interview that he believes whoever makes it through this year with several big wins, that’s who will either be champion or fight Khabib. However, don’t expect the UFC to take the title from Khabib anytime soon as White believes the right fight will still bring him back.

You can see White’s full interview with ESPN below.

UFC leaning towards booking Poirier – McGregor 3 next (Report)

A few weeks ago at UFC 257, Dustin Poirier (27-6, 1 NC) proved to the world that he’s the best lightweight with Khabib out of the picture. Poirier knocked out Conor McGregor (22-5) in their rematch from UFC 178.

McGregor won the first round, however, Poirier was chipping away and doing damage. Poirier’s leg kicks were doing some serious damage and by the second round, McGregor had nothing left on his lead leg.

With his leg severely compromised, McGregor was helpless against the barrage from Dustin Poirier. Poirier ended up scoring the second round knockout at UFC 257. In retrospect, this fight should have been for the lightweight title.

Dana White has been trying to convince Khabib Nurmagomedov (29-0) to come back for one more fight. However, the UFC‘s lightweight champion has maintained that he’s not interested in returning. As a result, the lightweight division remains in limbo.

After Poirier’s victory, Dana White initially indicated that he’d like to see Poirier face Michael Chandler for the lightweight title. However, Poirier made it clear that is not what he wanted to do next.

The UFC’s Plan

Since UFC 257, Charles Oliveira (30-8, 1 NC), Michael Chandler (22-5), and Nate Diaz (20-12) have all called for fights against Poirier. Of course, McGregor’s camp has been very vocal that they’d like to do the trilogy next.

Of those options, Poirier said he would be interested in everyone but Michael Chandler. With that in mind, the UFC has been working behind the scenes on what’s next for The Diamond. Well, ESPN’s Ariel Helwani said yesterday that the promotion is moving in a specific direction.

As of now, the UFC is currently planning on doing the trilogy between Poirier and McGregor next. There is no timeline as of now, but the word is that McGregor would love to do the fight in May. It is not known if the UFC lightweight title would be on the line in this matchup.

The one guy who could be an odd man out here is Charles Oliveira. As of now, the UFC also appears more likely to book Chandler against Justin Gaethje (22-3). I also think Nate Diaz is more likely to fight someone like Tony Ferguson as opposed to Charles Oliveira.

Charles Oliveira has turned down fights because he’s adamant that he wants a title shot next. However, it now appears that he could be the odd man out in the UFC’s lightweight division. We will have to see how this plays out.

UFC: Is there anything to the latest Khabib – GSP rumors?

This week the UFC world has been buzzing with another rumor surrounding Khabib Nurmagomedov (29-0). This rumor all started a few days ago when former fighter and broadcaster, Kenny Florian, talked about a potential superfight on his podcast with Jon Anik. 

On the podcast, Florian said, “It (The Rumor) comes from a well-known coach who apparently is aware of a fight between Khabib Nurmagomedov and a legend of the UFC in Georges St. Pierre. Supposedly, that is a fight that Georges might be getting ready for.”

Of course, this has had the world buzzing. It’s worth noting that Florian might be talking about Firas Zahabi who is his former coach as well as the head coach of GSP. Nevertheless, Florian might actually be someone who knows something.

Since then, the manager of the UFC lightweight champion has come out and said that the rumor was, “Fake news.” Ever since Khabib retired after UFC 254, people have said that the only fight he would come back for is a fight with Georges St. Pierre (26-2).

Will the UFC ever make it happen?

Dana White recently has said that the fight would never get made. However, there is a lot of things that Dana has said would never happen and they did. For example, Tito Ortiz returning to the UFC or women fighting in the UFC.

Moral of the story is to never say never in this game. Now, the likelihood of this fight actually happening is pretty low. Khabib’s late father, Abdulmanap, wanted the GSP fight to be Khabib’s final fight in the UFC.

To the Nurmagomedov’s, GSP was the perfect opponent to cement his legacy at 30-0. St. Pierre has been vocal about his desire to take the fight if that fight is ever offered to him by the UFC.

That said, with each passing day, GSP gets a little older. The former two-division champion has only fought once since 2013 and he turns 40 in May. I lean on the side of thinking this fight isn’t going to happen. However, there’s been smoke there for a long time and whoever truly knows with the UFC.

UFC: Justin Gaethje down to fight ‘Cringey’ Michael Chandler

Ever since UFC 258 concluded, the lightweight division has been in the news non-stop. We have fighters calling each other out and some fighters saying others are not worthy of certain fights. Several potential matchups materializing in front of our eyes.

At UFC 258, Dustin Poirier (27-6, 1 NC) knocked out Conor McGregor (22-5) and proved to the world that he’s the best lightweight not named Khabib Nurmagomedov (29-0). Khabib is the current lightweight champion, although he’s maintained that he’s been retired since UFC 254.

Before Poirier knocked out McGregor, Michael Chandler (22-5) made his debut with the UFC in the co-main event. Chandler knocked out Dan Hooker (20-10) with a massive left hook and a few follow up shots.

While all of this is unfolding, the former interim UFC lightweight champion, Justin Gaethje (22-3), has been sitting back waiting for his next move. Gaethje said the UFC attempted to call him before the PPV, but he wanted to see how things shook out.

Back in October, Gaethje failed in his attempt to become UFC lightweight champion. He as choked out by Khabib, but despite the loss, he remains the second ranked contender in the lightweight division.

Gaethje has not been calling for a title shot, instead, he’s been calling for any fight. He believes that he needs to get a win before he gets his next UFC title shot. There are several names Gaethje is thinking about next.

UFC’s options for Justin Gaethje

Before UFC 258, Dana White had said that the promotion was going to work on Gaethje – Charles Oliveira (30-8, 1 NC). However, that fight has not materialized and Oliveira has turned down fights since then due to his desire to fight for the title. 

Last week, Gaethje said that he would ‘SmokeNate Diaz (20-12) if the UFC would give him that opportunity. Of course, he’s also talked about his desire to fight Conor McGregor. However, Gaethje has maintained that McGregor doesn’t want to fight him.

There does seem to be one perfect match for Gaethje and that is Michael Chandler. Gaethje said he respects Chandler but finds him cringey and Chandler told ESPN this week that he believes that him and Gaethje are on a collision course. A fight between the two men could materialize quickly.

Yesterday, Gaethje’s manager told ESPN that Gaethje is very much open to fighting Michael Chandler. It seems like the perfect fight to make for the UFC is pairing up Chandler and Justin Gaethje. Both men want the fight and it would create some much needed clarity at 155.

UFC attempted to make Chandler – Oliveira; Oliveira turned it down

The UFC lightweight division is in a very unique spot at the moment. It’s the most exciting division in the promotion, however, there is a lot of cloudiness surrounding the top of the division. Khabib Nurmagomedov (29-0) has said he’s retired, yet he’s still the UFC champion.

Back at UFC 257, Dustin Poirier (27-6, 1 NC) knocked out Conor McGregor (22-5) in the main event. In retrospect, that fight should have been for the vacant lightweight title with the assumption that Khabib is staying retired.

In the co-main event of the evening, Michael Chandler (22-5) knocked out Dan Hooker (20-10) in the first round. The win was a huge statement in the UFC debut of Michael Chandler. Chandler had spent virtually his entire career with Bellator to that point.

After the fights, Dana White said that the UFC was going to have to figure out what to do with the division. Obviously, Dustin Poirier would be fighting for the title next, but the promotion didn’t know who that would be against.

Poirier only seemed interested in McGregor, Nate Diaz (20-12), or Charles Oliveira (30-8, 1 NC). Meanwhile, Dana White seemed more interested in having Chandler fight Poirier for the lightweight title. This is an idea that Poirier was not a fan of because he felt Chandler hadn’t earned a shot in the UFC.

UFC attempted to book Chandler – Oliveira

Last week we learned that the co-main event of UFC 258 between Chris Weidman and Uriah Hall fell through. Also around the same time, Michael Chandler posted on his Instagram that he was Dana White’s new “Yes Man” which left people wondering what was going on.

Well, according to a report from AG Fight, Chandler was offered the co-main event slot at UFC 258. His opponent would have been none other than Charles Oliveira. This goes along with what Chandler told ESPN’s Ariel Helwani this week.

This is a matchup that would’ve provided a great deal of clarity in the lightweight division. However, Oliveira turned down the fight according to the report citing his desire to fight for the title next.

Granted, there might have been other reasons behind the decision, but nevertheless, Oliveira turned down the fight with Michael Chandler. If he couldn’t get ready in time, I completely understand. However, if this was a move out of principle, I really don’t agree with the move.

Charles Oliveira’s eight-fight win streak is incredible. It’s enough to warrant a title shot, however, as I put in my article yesterday, the UFC is not going to give him the next shot. At least, I would be extremely surprised if they do.

That said, this could have been a golden chance for Oliveira to force their hand. Had Oliveira fought and defeated the new company man, the UFC would have nothing left other than offering him a title shot. Time will tell if this was a smart decision or not, but as of now, I really don’t agree with it.