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Dad says Khabib will likely retire sometime next year: ‘I want him healthy’

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Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov explains why he believes his son will retire within the next couple of years. 

MMA: UFC Fight Night-Horcher vs Nurmagomedov Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov, Khabib’s father and longtime coach, believes his son time in professional mixed martial arts competition is coming to an end.

Speaking to Russian tabloid Life.ru at Ramzan Kadyrov’s WFCA 34 event in Moscow, Abdulmanap revealed that his son will likely retire within the next couple of years, though only after winning the lightweight title and defending it numerous times.

“I dont want to upset any fans but Khabib is 28 years old and by 30 he has to finish his career,” Abdulmanap explained (h/t Egemen Birben for translation). “I've never voiced this opinion before, didn't talk about it to anyone. But I'm afraid he's got left 1.5 years.”

While the decision to retire by age 30 would seem premature to most fans and pundits, Abdulmanap believes the next stage of his son’s life will be working within Russia to help develop MMA and a new generation of fighters.

“Max two years. I want him as a healthy, thinking person. I want him to develop other fighters. In such a big sport, a career between 24-30 years old is enough.”

Khabib is scheduled to face Tony Ferguson for the interim lightweight title at UFC 209. The event takes place on march 4 in Las Vegas, Nevada.