Khabib Nurmagomedov’s absence from the octagon since 2020 has left fans wondering about his potential return. After his flawless victory over Justin Gaethje, Nurmagomedov retired from active competition with a perfect record of 29-0.
His coach Javier Mendez recently revealed that Nurmagomedov had been undergoing PED tests for eight months, even after his retirement. He expressed that Khabib would make a return if he witnessed something extraordinary from Conor McGregor or Dustin Poirier during their January 2021 bout.
According to Javier Mendez’s interview with Grosvenor Sport, Nurmagomedov had been subject to rigorous testing for approximately eight months before he had reached his limit. The UFC had been eager for his return and even came close to convincing him.
Mendez stated: “He was roughly tested for about eight months before he had enough. The UFC were trying to get him to come back and he came close. You saw it when we were in Abu Dhabi. He said, ‘If someone shows me something spectacular then maybe I’ll come back.'”
He went on to say: “It was Conor vs. Poirier that night, but it did not get Khabib excited. He said if something excited him on that card then maybe he’d consider it. But it never happened. The UFC was pushing him, but nothing excited him, so it was [a] no go.”
The intense rivalry between Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov peaked at UFC 229 in 2018. In an electrifying showdown, Nurmagomedov emerged victorious with a fourth-round submission. However, what unfolded afterwards stunned everyone. A massive incident erupted when Nurmagomedov leapt over the cage and attacked McGregor and his team.
Popular ring girl Arianny Celeste shared her experience during a recent appearance on the UNLEASHED podcast. She recounted how the ring girls hurriedly made their way to the dressing room when the incident occurred.
Celeste recalled the incident by saying: “It was crazy, I just looked at the girls and I was like go, we need to go now. Brooklyn stayed packed she’s like what’s going on um but yeah, we just started running for the um the dressing room there’s also like security right behind us that was like pushing us to go, so we were fine.”