The undefeated and longest-reigning UFC Lightweight Champion, Khabib Nurmagomedov, has allegedly agreed to a sensational return to the sport since retiring in March and defeating Justin Gaethje in October 2020.
His retirement was largely decided by the unfortunate passing of his father in July 2020.
However, Brazilian fighter Rafael dos Anjos has recently spoken out claiming that he will face Khabib on the condition he beats opponent Islam Makhachev.
Anjos took to Twitter to announce the agreement, saying:
“I just heard back from the UFC that Islam (Makhachev) accepted to fight me Oct 30 5 rounds in Abu Dhabi and Khabib agreed to come out of retirement to avenge his brother’s loss after that.”
Makhachev is a close friend of Khabib’s and often viewed as The Eagle’s protege, meaning it is possible Nurmagomedov would want to fight Anjos should he beat Makhachev.
When Khabib formally retired in March 2021, he left the sport boasting an unbelievable record of 29-0-0.
His style of grappling and ability to dominate the game made him one of the most feared athletes in the sport of MMA and he’s succeeded against some talented fighters across his career; Dustin Poirier, Justin Gaethje and the highly anticipated bout vs Conor McGregor.
The bad blood between Khabib and ‘The Notorious’ still stands to this day, despite the fight happening almost 3 years ago (October 2018) – and fans want the feud to continue with McGregor facing Makhachev to ‘finish all of the leftover business.’
So what are the chances of Nurmagomedov entering the Octagon again?
Essentially it all comes down to whether dos Anjos can claim victory vs. Makhachev, but it’s not going to be easy. Makhachev currently ranks an impressive #5 in the UFC lightweight rankings and his record stands at 20 wins with only 1 loss.
On the other hand, his opponent (dos Anjos) currently ranks #7 in the UFC lightweight rankings and a record of 30-13-0, with one of those losses handed to him by The Eagle himself.
Earlier this year, Javier Mendez (Khabib’s trainer) confirmed that the retired UFC star ‘misses the feeling of fighting’ – however would only fight again if given the green light from his mother, but with his feelings clear and the rumours surrounding this upcoming fight, it’s looking likely that Nurmagomedov could be ready to be the face of the UFC again.