Khabib Nurmagomedov: I by no means contemplated returning »


Khabib Nurmagomedov unexpectedly retired within the Octagon at UFC 254, following a dominant win over now-former interim champion Justin Gaethje. Because the youngest son, Nurmagomedov lived in his mum or dad’s dwelling, with the intention of supporting them of their late age. Following the loss of life of his father Abdulmanap in July attributable to problems from COVID-19, “The Eagle” turned head of family. Thus there was nice stress on him to not take the ultimate title protection at all, because it entailed leaving dwelling for an prolonged interval to organize for the bout within the Struggle Island bubble in Abu Dhabi.

UFC president Dana White and Nurmagomedov’s supervisor, Dominance MMA founder Ali Abdelaziz each naturally hoped for an additional struggle. Struggle commentator and buddy of the Nurmagomedov household, Ramazan Rabadanov, stated Khabib was merely holding out till Islam Makhachev bought as shut as doable to the title, so the belt may very well be handed on to a comrade. Khabib stayed within the USADA testing pool, leaving his choices open, and expressed curiosity in a superfight vs. welterweight GOAT Georges St-Pierre. Nonetheless, on Thursday, White advised ESPN that Nurmagomedov is formally retired; “The Eagle” talked about it with Megan Olivi on the ESPN+ UFC Struggle Evening Publish Present for UFC Vegas 22.

“It’s very exhausting when you have got energy, whenever you’re the most effective on this planet, whenever you’re well-known, when you have got cash and say [no] to every little thing, like these items,” stated Khabib. “That is very exhausting. Individuals perhaps by no means going to know me however I actually hope they’re going to help my determination.

“As a result of all people has their views. My views and my relationship with my mom, like I really feel I’ve to cease as a result of I really feel like in each struggle, in each coaching camp, every little thing, that is some age from my mom. It’s like what do I’ve to do?”

Khabib was requested if he ever contemplated coming again.

“No, however Dana known as this official,” stated Nurmagomedov with amusing. “However I retired like 5, six months in the past. It’s very humorous. Dana advised me when he posted this, he stated somebody write me remark about, ‘He retired not in the present day, he retired like 5 months in the past.’ It’s humorous a little bit bit, however we’ve got some conversations with Dana a few instances. Like two days in the past, we meet with him, sit, discuss like two actual males. We now have an excellent dialog with him, good dinner.

“I actually appreciated him. All the pieces what he did, not just for me, however for all this sport. As a result of UFC’s a giant platform. Lots of people world wide due to UFC earn money and provides meals for his youngsters, for garments. They’re doing an incredible job. That’s why I wish to say thanks to all UFC crew. Lorenzo {Fertitta], Dana, everybody who signed me, Joe Silva, like all people, Sean Shelby. These guys are doing an incredible job. Due to these folks, lots of people have cash, they’ve meals for his or her household. Thanks guys.”

“I come to this sport to indicate who I’m, to turn into the most effective. I’m a world champion. I’m pound-for-pound No. 1. I defended my title thrice. I gained largest struggle in UFC historical past. What else? Solely cash. Solely cash fights however I don’t want cash fights. It’s like every little thing what we did with my father since I used to be a child. Like once I started coaching on mats, in my village, inside the home. When father put me wrestling with a bear, once I advised him ‘hey, this bear tried to chew me’ and I bear in mind when advised me ‘chew him again, no drawback, it’s important to wrestle, it’s important to preserve going.’ Since once I was a child, how we grew up with one another, how father care for me and every little thing.

“Then I turn into world champion fight sambo. I turn into two-time world champion fight sambo. Then I’ve 16-0 exterior the UFC. Then the UFC indicators me and I’ve a 13 win streak, turn into a world champion, every little thing. I’m very joyful about all my journey. Proper now, I really feel I don’t don’t have anything to show, to indicate individuals who I’m. I do every little thing on this sport. I really feel I don’t must do nothing. Two days in the past, once I discuss with Dana, I inform him every little thing that I really feel and he stated he’s going to help me anyhow. I’m very joyful about this.”

The light-weight GOAT was requested what his legacy in MMA is.

“Truthfully, I don’t know,” he replied. “This can be a folks determination. Once I was preventing, my determination, my job was smash my opponents and I did this completely. No person was shut. I defended my title thrice. I don’t know. That is folks’s determination.”

And what’s subsequent?

“I’ve some enterprise initiatives,” Nurmagomedov stated. “I’m going to earn money. I’m going to get pleasure from my life. I’ve youngsters. I’ve my brothers, they’re nonetheless preventing within the UFC. I’m going to help them.

“I’m going to be round guys. I’m not going to allow you to guys miss me. Contained in the cage, I don’t really feel I’ve to go contained in the cage and do one thing. I struggle 29 instances. I believe it’s sufficient.”

Nurmagomedov fought professionally for twelve years, the final eight within the UFC, attaining an ideal 29-0 report. Much more astonishingly, he misplaced solely a single spherical within the massive present, to Conor McGregor. It’s a report of dominance unmatched in league historical past.

Followers of blended martial arts must be joyful, not unhappy, concerning the retirement. In a sport that leaves so many damaged, it is a good ending, to a actually good profession.

ht/ Damon Martin for MMA Combating

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