UFC news: Khabib Nurmagomedov finally responds to Dana White’s claims that he will fight again

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Khabib Nurmagomedov is just under one month removed from what he insists was the final fight of his MMA career.

The Russian superstar defeated Justin Gaethje by submission at UFC 254 to retain his lightweight championship - and then announced his retirement from the sport in an emotional post-fight speech.

Citing a promise to his mother that he would no longer compete following the passing of his father, Khabib revealed that was walking away from MMA having compiled a perfect professional record of 29-0.

Khabib's father, Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov, was also his coach. He passed away in July of this year due to complications caused by COVID-19 - and Khabib had admitted struggling without his mentor by his side for the Gaethje fight.

There are some, though, who do not believe that Khabib will stay retired. Chief among them is UFC president Dana White.

In the days that followed UFC 254, White told reporters that he felt that Khabib would return to seek one more victory to reach 30-0, a mark that was famously targetted by Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov for his son.

Speaking to RT Sport, however, Khabib rejected White's suggestion and reiterated that he is done with the sport.

"There will always be rumours about my comeback, because Dana White or other promoters who could replace him in the future will always want me to fight," conceded the 32-year-old. 

"It's all about big money, views and media coverage, so I am sure they will keep chasing me...You have just finished one fight and fans right away start looking forward to your next one.

"They always want the show to go on. But I have no plans to continue fighting." Khabib stated emphatically, before going on to explain some of the reasons why he was against continuing to compete.

"What if I fight one more time? They will have another contender for me who is on a 7-8 win streak. Another wrestler with great striking. They are very good at raising heroes, building up big stars - it's just a never-ending story."

For the majority of fighters, the financial rewards associated with competing at the highest level often prove hard to resist. Khabib, though, is a different breed and money seemingly provides him with no such incentive.

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"Of course, I could possibly fight until I'm 40 - or even 45, like Fedor (Emelianenko)," said Khabib. "But there must be a purpose to it, a goal.

"My goal was to reach the summit. I did it - so I don't see any competitive interest to stay in the game. Who else is there to fight for me? And even if there is one, my mission has been accomplished.

"Of course, I am in my prime and there is still tons of money I could earn. But I had a different goal. And as for money, from now on we will earn it somewhere else."

Despite claims to the contrary, it appears that Khabib firmly intends to remain true to his word and stay retired. For now, at least, the UFC needs to plan for a lightweight division without "The Eagle."

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