Khabib Nurmagomedov couldn't be further apart from Dana White when it comes to a possible UFC comeback

Photo by Isaac Brekken/Getty ImagesKhabib Nurmagomedov and Dana White.
  • Three key members of Khabib Nurmagomedov’s inner circle say the fighter will un-retire and compete in one more UFC bout.
  • The UFC boss Dana White said this week he expects the Russian wrestler, who has fought 29 times in pro MMA, to try and advance his record to 30-0.
  • But this appears to be at odds with what Nurmagomedov himself wants, as he said he has “no competitive interest,” according to a Russian news agency.
  • This storyline is by no means over, though, as Nurmagomedov’s manager Ali Abdelaziz tweeted that the fighters comments were “fake news.”
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Khabib Nurmagomedov couldn’t be further apart from Dana White when it comes to a so-called UFC comeback.

The Russian wrestler, an undefeated champion in the UFC lightweight division, sent the American striking maestro Justin Gaethje to sleep with an arm-triangle choke at Fight Island last month, wept in the middle of the Octagon, and then announced an abrupt, sudden, and emotional, retirement after 29 bouts.

Three members of Nurmagomedov’s inner circle — his trainer Javier Mendez, his manager Ali Abdelaziz, and White himself — each released separate comments in the weeks since that suggested the fighter’s retirement would be short-lived and that he would compete at least one more time in the UFC.

“I told you guys that I think he’s gonna go to [30-0],” White told reporters after Tuesday’s edition of Dana White’s Contender Series at the behind-closed-doors UFC Apex facility.

“He hasn’t committed, but I feel like he’s gonna,” said White. “I’m not really pushing him. We talked about it and he just fought. Let him take some time, spend some time with his family, spend the holidays. There’s no rush.”

Latter, speaking on the Jim Rome show on CBS Sports Network Wednesday, White added: “I do [expect him to try and get to 30-0].

“He was so emotional after that fight with everything he’s been through, especially the death of his father. But his father wanted him to go to 30-0, and I think he will.”

This is at odds with what Nurmagomedov continues to say

“I have no competitive interest,” Nurmagomedov reportedly said,according to the Russian news agency Tass.

On what his post-fight plans involve, he said: “I’d like to [build on] my thesis, do a masters course, dedicate more time to studying.

“I’ve bought sheep, I tend to my farm. I’d like to develop in this field a little. I have the bull calves out to feed, I have cows.”

Nurmagomedov’s latest retirement comments were also reported by the combat sports publication MMA Junkie, but were, however, branded “fake news” by Abdelaziz.

As things stand, Nurmagomedov remains the champion in the 155-pound weight class with a number of big-name athletes vying for the No.1 contender spot including Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier, who headline the next Fight Island festival on January 23.

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