Khabib confirms UFC reached out but dashes all hopes for a return: I will never change this

Khabib Nurmagomedov is often hailed as the MMA GOAT and has left a huge mark with an unparalleled 29-0 record in his illustrious career. Nurmagomedov’s dominance included three lightweight title defenses against MMA icons Conor McGregor, Dustin Poirier, and Justin Gaethje.

In October 2020, Nurmagomedov bid farewell to the sport after the tragic loss of his father and coach Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov. Despite tempting offers, Khabib remains resolute in his decision to retire.

Speculation arose when reports surfaced about a staggering $40 million offer for Khabib to return at UFC 300. Addressing the rumors, Nurmagomedov clarified that his manager Ali Abdelaziz fielded the UFC’s call.

Khabib emphatically rejected any notion of a comeback. He said: “I know they connected with Ali, but I told Ali… never call me about a fight. They never connect with me directly, but I know some people from the UFC connected with Ali, but I told them already once… I told them a lot of times — all the people that tried to bring me back — that I decided [to retire] in October 2020. It was my last fight and I will never change this.”

After his retirement, Khabib witnessed his protege Islam Makhachev ascend to lightweight supremacy. He ended up claiming the title with a spectacular second-round submission against Charles Oliveira at UFC 280.

Islam Makhachev has successfully defended the title twice by defeating former featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski in back-to-back matches. The most recent of these bouts took place in October.

Makhachev is is now looking for a opponent, but most of the best contenders in the division are already committed to other engagements. So it seems like most of the options are limited.

Even though Khabib Nurmagomedov has retired from the sport, his legacy goes on. This is both in his undefeated record and in the continued success of his protege, Islam Makhachev.