As of this posting, Khabib Nurmagomedov remains to be the UFC’s undisputed lightweight champion. The company refused to strip him of the title and take away his top pound-for-pound rank, thinking that “The Eagle” will come out of retirement and make a run for 30-0.
“I told you guys that I think he’s gonna go to [30-0],” UFC president Dana White told media members after the Tuesday Night Contender Series this week. “If he’s still testing, why the hell would you want to test if you’re not gonna fight?
“He hasn’t committed, but I feel like he’s gonna. I’m not really pushing him. We talked about it and he just fought. Let him take some time, spend some time with his family, spend the holidays. There’s no rush.”
Khabib retired to honor a promise he made to his mother. He went on to reiterate this statement upon his return to Russia three days after UFC 254, and during a recent conversation with a top official in Dagestan.
And in a meeting he had with young people in his hometown on Thursday, the 32-year-old undefeated fighter spoke about his plans for the immediate future. None of them involved stepping back inside the cage, unlike what the UFC’s big boss previously claimed.
“You can fight until you’re 40 but there should be a goal,” Khabib said (via RT Sport). “I had a goal to reach the summit and I got there. Further, I have no competitive interest.”
Khabib’s current priorities are centered on engaging in agricultural ventures, which he plans to pursue through higher education. He also aspires to provide help to his hometown outside of the political realm.
“Next year I will graduate. I’d like to [build on] my thesis, do a masters course, dedicate more time to studying,” he said. “I’ve bought sheep, I tend to my farm. I’d like to develop in this field a little. I have the bull calves out to feed, I have cows.
“I would like to take part in a place where I can bring a benefit,” he added. “It doesn’t have to be big politics. Right now I can bring a benefit without being a politician, and that’s enough for me.”
Khabib ended his 12-year professional run with a record of 29-0 and three successful title defenses as the UFC lightweight champion.