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Cormier: Money won’t convince Khabib to return, Dana White needs to tap ‘within his spirit’

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No amount of money will sway Khabib Nurmagomedov into unretiring, according to close teammate Daniel Cormier.

UFC 249 Khabib v Ferguson: Press Conference Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

Khabib Nurmagomedov may have rejected the idea of coming out of retirement multiple times, but Dana White isn’t willing to take that no for an answer. The UFC big boss is still convinced that he can get undefeated “Eagle” to change his mind.

White recently spoke to BT Sport and said this:

I think his dad wanting him to get to 30-0 is in the back of his mind. And he wants to achieve that because he knew his father wanted it. But we’ll see. He and I are gonna get together next month and talk.

He might not. Maybe he won’t fight (again). I don’t know the answer to that. But I’m a little confident that I can talk him into it.

If a fat paycheck is what the UFC plans to use to lure Khabib back in, that may not work according to close teammate and training partner Daniel Cormier. As he told UFC correspondent Laura Sanko in a recent sitdown, White will have to do a lot more than that.

“I asked Khabib once, I said, ‘How much money would it take for me to be rich in Dagestan?’ He said, ‘$5 million, and you’re rich for the rest of your life,’” Cormier said. “Khabib has much more than $5 million. So I don’t know how much the money is gonna be the thing that draws him back to the Octagon.

“Dana’s gonna have to tap into something within his spirit to try to get him to fight again because he’s one of those guys that doesn’t need as much. He makes so much money outside of the Octagon at this point, that it would have to be something that would drive him competitively to come back and fight.

“I don’t think it’s gonna be money that makes him go back to the Octagon.”

White is already moving on from the seemingly cursed Tony Ferguson matchup, so that’s one less option for Khabib. Perhaps the UFC can pull a rabbit out of their hats and make the Georges St-Pierre fight happen, but they will have to hurry before Father Time completely catches up on the 39-year-old ex-champion.