Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports & Mark J. Rebilas - USA TODAY Sports

This is how Dana White is STILL trying to tempt Khabib to make a comeback!

✔ UFC boss wants Khabib to make a comeback - Doesn't even have to be in the octagon: "It was something different"

UFC President Dana White is still trying to get UFC icon Khabib Nurmagomedov out of retirement, this time by offering “The Eagle” a grappling bout!

Khabib retired after defending his UFC lightweight title against Justin Gaethje in October 2020. The now 33-year-old retired undefeated with a fight record of 29-0, defending his belt against Conor McGregor, Dustin Poirier and Gaethje. After defeating Gaethje, Khabib shocked the combat sports community by retiring in the octagon. The reason was the passing of his father Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov and a promise he made to his mother.

“A huge thank you to you all,” Khabib said when retiring(translation by RT Sport) “When I started in 2008, and when I signed with the UFC in 2012, many people didn’t believe. They thought it was impossible. I’m a simple guy from a Dagestani mountain village… I just wanted to be champion with the guidance of my father. I never thought I’d get such a heavy load dropped on my shoulders.”

“Alhamdullillah (praise be to God). If you have parents, be close to them. That’s all,” Khabib continued. “I only have one parent left, my mom. I want to spend more time with her.”

Even though Khabib retired, UFC President White did everything he could to coax him to change his mind. Unfortunately, no money or offers changed Khabib’s decision, but it was not for lack of effort from White. Many years has passed since Khabib’s last bout, but the UFC boss revealed that he is STILL trying to get “The Eagle” to come back in one way or another.

“Khabib’s retired. I just reached out to him recently to see if he’s interested in something and he’s like, ‘I’m retired, brother. I’m done.’ I don’t think Khabib ever comes back,” White said on the Jim Rome Show. “It was something different. I was trying to get him to do a grappling match. He’s like, ‘I’m done, I’m retired.’ I think that when his father passed away, that was a wrap for him. He’s just focused on training other guys and helping them become world champions.”

Khabib has turned his attention towards his own MMA promotion Eagle Fighting Championship (EFC) but also helping his friend and teammate Islam Makhachev achieve success in the octagon. Makhachev is set to face Charles Oliveira for the vacant UFC lightweight strap at UFC 280 on October 22. If successful, Makhachev could continue Khabib’s legacy and maybe even surpass his friend. Many consider Khabib to be one of the greatest fighters in MMA history but the UFC President thinks he retired too early.

“It’s so hard, White said about Khabib’s legacy. “Obviously, he is talented enough. You know, who knows what he could accomplish? But he retired too early. I mean Jon Jones is probably gonna fight at heavyweight this year. You know, whatever you think about Jon, it’s hard not to call him a G.O.A.T. Believe me when I tell you, I have tried to convince Khabib to come out of retirement. We will see what happens over the next couple of years. But I feel like he left in his prime.”


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