Khabib Nurmagomedov moved up to a 29-0 record after his successful lightweight defense against Justin Gaethje then announced his at 32 years old. However, UFC chief Dana White is predicting another fight for the MMA superstar if only to achieve 30 wins and no defeat.
White revealed that his talks with Nurmagomedov in the immediate days that followed the fighter's surprise retirement proved fruitful. The UFC president said he got the sense that the Russian was overwhelmed by emotions after the Saturday match, and there is a chance Nurmagomedov will pick one more fight.
In an interview with CBS Sports Radio, White said he is convinced the undefeated lightweight champ is shooting for 30-0. Nurmagomedov will enter the octagon anew for another one big showdown.
"He was completely emotional that night when he got through that fight. I have a feeling that he might go for 30-0," the UFC chief said during the interview, and per the report from MMA Fighting.
White's assertion was somehow backed by Javier Mendez, Nurmagomedov's head coach, who confirmed he was completely clueless with his fighter's retirement plans. Mendez said he only learned of the exit when Nurmagomedov made the shocking announcement.
It was understood that the Russian decided to end his career to honor the promise he made to his mother. Also, Nurmagomedov thought that after losing his father, who also acted as his trainer, to COVID-10 last July, it's only fitting not to fight anymore after the duel with Gaethje.
White allowed that even without any solid indications that Nurmagomedov intends to have one more fight night, he has already big plans on how the Russian would stage a comeback. But the chief insisted that the details will only be made public once he gets the fight confirmation from the 32-year-old.
The UFC chief, however, teased that Nurmagomedov will be involved in "something special," and according to Yahoo Sports, the most logical choice of a foe for the Russian is Georges St-Pierre, whose last battle on the octagon dates back to 2017.
St-Pierre appears to be enjoying his time out of the bruising UFC world and fighting again is last on his mind. But the Canadian said he can make an exception and that is only for the top guy in the game, whom he named Khabib.
"As a fighter, the most exciting thing is to take the guy who seems invincible, unbeatable. He has the aura of invincibility. But it's also the scariest thing to do," GSP was reported as saying.
There are MMA warriors to be seriously considered to star with Nurmagomedov's return but the report indicated that other than St-Pierre only one name comes to mind, and almost automatically. That would be Conor McGregor and the Russian duking it out with the Irishman is certainly both special and a money-spinner.