Following his third-round submission victory over Dustin Poirier at UFC 242 last week, Khabib Nurmagomedov successfully defended his UFC lightweight title and improved to a perfect undefeated record of 28-0. While it remains unclear at the moment who his next opponent will be, recent comments from Nurmagomedov’s father suggest that “The Eagle” might have only two more fights left before he retires from the octagon.
As quoted by BJPenn, Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov recently spoke with Russian outlet TASS, in an interview where he discussed his son’s career and hinted at his future plans. When asked about the latter, the elder Nurmagomedov kept it short and sweet, hinting that it might not be much longer before Khabib calls it a career.
“For Khabib, 30-0 is enough.”
In addition to suggesting that his son could be done with mixed martial arts after his 30th fight, Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov told TASS that he wants Khabib’s final fight — his “final title defense,” as he called it — to take place in their home country of Russia.
As explained by BJPenn, talk of Khabib Nurmagomedov possibly retiring at a young age is nothing new, as the likes of longtime UFC commentator Joe Rogan have made such predictions in the past. The outlet added that it makes sense for Nurmagomedov to quit while ahead, given that he has an impressive winning streak that remains active to this day. Furthermore, it was noted that Khabib’s weight cutting resulted in some previous health issues that could also play into his decision whether to retire or not.
Everything happens for a reason. This is my journey and it's unique. Thank you Khabib for another tough life lesson. No excuses no regrets. Gonna take my lumps and keep it moving. #paidinfull pic.twitter.com/ZHPIYfVey5— The Diamond (@DustinPoirier) September 12, 2019
Talking about potential opponents for Nurmagomedov in a theoretical final fight before retirement, BJPenn suggested that the Dagestani fighter, who turns 31 next week, could have a rematch with former UFC double champion Conor McGregor. The Irishman, as pointed out, might be seeking to make up for his fourth-round submission loss to Khabib at UFC 229 last year.
One other reason why a farewell fight against McGregor might be most plausible is the possibility that Nurmagomedov may face either Tony Ferguson — who is currently on a 12-fight winning streak — or UFC legend Georges St-Pierre in his next bout. As reported on Wednesday by The Inquisitr, Nurmagomedov’s manager, Ali Abdelaziz, said that he believes “GSP is next” and that both he and Khabib want a shot at the currently retired former welterweight champion.
“If you’re going to compare Tony Ferguson, he beat a whole bunch of guys, but he never been a champion,” Abdelaziz was quoted as saying. “I’m talking about if Khabib is going to fight for legacy, a fight with Georges St-Pierre will be a huge fight.”