Khabib Nurmagomedov was the undefeated former UFC lightweight champion when he retired. He continues to stand firm in his decision to retire, despite an extraordinary eight-figure offer presented by the UFC to lure him back into the octagon.
Renowned as one of the greatest MMA stars in history, Khabib boasts an impeccable record of 29 wins and 0 losses in professional MMA, with a flawless 13-0 record in the UFC. His retirement came as a surprise after securing a second-round submission victory over Justin Gaethje in October 2020 at UFC 254.
The catalyst for Khabib’s retirement was the passing of his father and coach, Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov, in July 2020. Expressing that his mother insisted he not continue his MMA journey without his father, Khabib decided to compete once more, defeating Gaethje before officially hanging up his gloves.
Despite numerous efforts by Dana White and the UFC to entice Khabib back into the MMA game, the Dagestani stood firm in his retirement decision, leading to the declaration of his lightweight title as vacant. Charles Oliveira went on to claim the title.
In a recent interview with Daniel Cormier on Ultimate 30, Khabib disclosed the UFC’s persistent pursuit, revealing, “It’s not easy to just say no to 20, 30, 40 million dollars. But for myself, it’s not everything.” His unwavering commitment to his decision and contentment with retirement echoes his steadfast approach.
Nurmagomedov’s early paychecks were revealed last month during the court proceedings against the UFC.
Khabib Nurmagomedov’s UFC journey began in January 2012. The contract details disclosed reveal that for his victory over Edson Barboza in 2017, Khabib received a total of $160,000. This also included an $80,000 win bonus.
This contract spanned from his bout against Rafael dos Anjos in April 2014 to the Barboza clash in December 2017.
Khabib became a champion after facing Barboza in a last minute Al Iaquinta match up in 2018.
As Khabib’s career progressed, so did his earnings. Notably, he secured a substantial $2 million paycheck for his bout against Conor McGregor in 2018.
Khabib Nurmagomedov, now involved in training alongside MMA companions such as Islam Makhachev, Usman Nurmagomedov, and Umar Nurmagomedov, continues to resist the allure of an extravagant UFC comeback offer, emphasizing that financial incentives are not his driving force.
As the lightweight division progresses with Islam Makhachev reigning as the current champion, Khabib’s legacy endures, leaving fans and the MMA community to reflect on the champion’s principled stand against a staggering eight-figure return to the cage.