Former UFC champion Khabib Nurmagomedov has shut down the idea of his promotion competing with the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
For many years Khabib Nurmagomedov used his time in the UFC to go from rising prospect to one of the biggest stars in the history of mixed martial arts. His unbeaten 29-0 record is matched only by some of the incredible wins he secured along the way against the likes of Conor McGregor, Dustin Poirier and Justin Gaethje.
After his win over the latter at UFC 254, Khabib rode off into the retirement sunset and began a new chapter in his life.
One of the main factors in this new chapter is his role as the lead promoter for Eagle FC. This weekend they’ll be returning to the United States for a blockbuster card headlined by Kevin Lee vs Diego Sanchez, highlighting just how serious they are about breaking into the American market.
However, when asked about competing with UFC, Bellator and PFL, Khabib wasn’t a fan of the idea.
“I don’t know why all media tries to like, make fight – me vs Scott Coker or me vs Dana, or with other guys. I know Scott Coker long time, he’s from San Jose, I am almost from San Jose, I’ve trained there for ten years. Sometimes we’ll go for dinner, breakfast with coach Javier. Of course, Dana White, he’s become like my uncle. I know this guy long time, we have great relationship. Of course we’re here to give big opportunities to lots of fighters. But I’m not here to fight with UFC, Bellator or something like this.”
Will Khabib return to the octagon?
Despite being spotted at numerous UFC events, the induction of Khabib into the UFC Hall of Fame indicates to many that his days as an active competitor are well and truly over.
The lightweight division has moved on with Charles Oliveira being the new king of the castle, as ‘Do Bronx’ prepares to defend the strap against Justin Gaethje at UFC 274.
Some still hold out hope that he’ll change his mind but for now, coaching and promoting will be his priority.