Khabib Nurmagomedov stunned his fans last weekend by announcing his retirement after defeating Justin Gaethje at UFC 254 in Abu Dhabi.
The 32-year-old took his record to 29-0 after stopping Gaethje with a triangle choke submission in the second round.
During his post-fight interview inside the Octagon, The Eagle then revealed his decision to walk away from the sport.
"It was my last fight,” Khabib, the No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter in the world, said. “There's no way I'm going to come here without my father. It was the first time after what happened with my father, when the UFC called me about (fighting) Justin, I talked with my mother for three days.
"She didn't want me to fight without father, but I promised her it was going to be my last fight, and if I give my word, I have to follow this. It was my last fight here.”
Although Khabib is clearly an honourable individual and a man of his word, UFC president Dana White has now dropped a bombshell.
After speaking with Khabib, White is convinced that Khabib *will* reverse his decision to retire and fight one last time in order to fulfil his late father’s wish of extending his record to 30-0.
White, asked if he knew Khabib would retire after the Gaethje fight, told CBS Sports Radio: “No, nobody knew. Not even his coach.”
Asked how he processed the news, White added: “I wasn’t! I sitting there going ‘oh my god, you’ve got to be kidding me’.”
He then revealed the news that will excite every UFC fan: “But I’ll tell you this - and I haven’t told anybody this yet - Khabib and I have been talking…
“He was completely emotional that night when he got through that fight. I have a feeling that he might go for 30-0.”
Asked if that means he thinks Khabib will be coming back, White responded: “I do.
“I think he’s not going to retire. His dad wanted him to get to 30-0. I think he wants to honour his dad’s wish.”
You can listen to the interview here…
This is potentially huge news.
The thought of Khabib fighting again - even for one last fight - is a mouth-watering prospect.
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