Things have not been going easy for Khabib Nurmagomedov lately. The Dagestani lightweight was poised for one the biggest fights of his career back in March at UFC 209, when liver problems due to weight cutting caused him to be removed from the bout. Alongside that blow, Nurmagomedov’s father, Abdulmanap gave an interview to the press, telling them that he wants his son to retire in the next year and a half.
Just to add a final insult to injury, rumors spread that Nurmagomedov was seen indulging in some tiramisu shortly before his botched weight cut - the one that resulted in him going to the hospital and the last minute cancellation of his fight. That’s a lot for anyone to deal with, and in a recent interview on the MMA Hour, the ‘Eagle’ decided to take a few of these reports head on (transcript via MMA Fighting).
“I no understand why people talk about this,” Nurmagomedov said, in response to the tiramisu rumors. “I don’t eat this. We’re going to restaurant and we chill together, everything, but [I was the only one] cutting weight. The other guys, no cutting weight, and everybody eat everything. But I don’t eat any of this stuff. I eat only my food. I no understand why people talk about this. Somebody ordered cake and somebody eat cake — of course somebody eat cake — but I don’t eat nothing. I don’t eat this cake. I did nothing, but I don’t understand why people talk about this.”
And as for retirement? Nurmagomedov was quick to dismiss it, blaming the media for twisting his father’s words, and re-emphasizing that as long as he can stay healthy he’s not thinking about hanging up the gloves.
“Nobody is trying (to get me to retire),” Nurmagomedov said. “I know my father talked about this with Russian media, and U.S. media make, like, different translation. But how I retire if I have to fight for the title? Now, I have very big name, and now, a lot of big fights are coming. How I retire? I no understand, who talk about this?”
“I’m going to fight,” Nurmagomedov said. “First of all, I’m going to fix my body and stay healthy, because the last three years, I don’t remember when I train or when I’m going to fight (and) I’m healthy. I don’t remember this. Because now I’m going to fix everything and come back stronger. But about retiring, I don’t think about this.”
All of which means Khabib fans can hopefully breathe a sigh of relief. At the moment, Nurmagomedov is recouping from his weight-cut induced illness, and looking to return to action sometime in late summer or early fall, after Ramadan. What fights will be awaiting him when he comes back is anyone’s guess.