At 31-years-old, Khabib Nurmagomedov is still far from being considered old in the world of mixed martial arts. Unfortunately, it appears that the UFC’s reigning lightweight champion doesn’t plan to fight in the octagon for much longer, as he admitted in a recent interview.
Citing Nurmagomedov’s interview with Arab News, USA Today’s MMA Junkie blog wrote that “The Eagle” hopes he could retire from MMA in a “maximum of three years.” The Russian fighter, however, clarified that it’s more likely at this point that he will call it a career two years from now, given how he feels it’s difficult to maintain his ongoing undefeated streak.
“I don’t want to fight all my life because I know it’s very hard. I know a lot of young, hungry guys are coming, and I know to always be undefeated, undisputed, is not almost impossible — I think it’s impossible.”
Nurmagomedov added that winning streaks are bound to end regardless of an athlete’s sport, as he feels it is important to know “when you need to stop.”
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, this isn’t the first time it’s been hinted that Nurmagomedov may soon be retiring from mixed martial arts. Last month, his father suggested in an interview with Russian news agency TASS that his son will retire after his 30th fight, proclaiming that “30-0 is enough” for Khabib.
Currently, Nurmagomedov has a record of 28-0 in MMA (12-0 in UFC), his last successful defense of the lightweight title taking place in September at UFC 242, where he defeated Dustin Poirier via third-round submission.
Khabib is wired different.— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) October 14, 2019
UFC lightweight champ training in a freezing river in Dagestan, Russia.
(via kingfarruh/IG) pic.twitter.com/Dqmz8DIaf8
Regarding the number of fights he believes are left in him, Nurmagomedov did not go into specifics when speaking with Arab News, stressing instead once again that he will likely be done fighting at the age of 33 or 34. However, he revealed that he is expecting to face Tony Ferguson — the former UFC interim lightweight champion who is presently on a 12-fight winning streak — and that he thinks he has a good chance of defeating him if they get a chance to square off in the octagon.
Apart from Ferguson, former UFC middleweight champion Georges St-Pierre has also been rumored as a potential opponent for Nurmagomedov in his 29th professional fight. However, the retired MMA legend recently revealed that he fully believes Ferguson is a more deserving choice as Khabib’s next opponent, adding that their prospective fight will be “hard to predict” and a good one to watch.