Khabib Nurmagomedov might be retired, but the former UFC lightweight champion still has his sights set on MMA.
No, Khabib won’t be making a comeback but the undefeated Dagestani will be working hard behind the scenes to bring MMA to the Olympics by 2028, Nurmagomedov revealed at a recent press conference in Moscow, Russia.
“The inclusion of MMA in the Olympics is one of my main tasks for the next couple of years,” Nurmagomedov said in Russian (translated by Essentially Sports). “We are already working in this direction. In the near future, I will have many meetings, including with the president of the Olympic committee. I think, if not in Paris (2024), then in in Los Angeles (2028) we have a great chance of promoting MMA.”
“The only question is the cruelty of the sport,” Nurmagomedov said. “This is not encouraged at the Olympics. They do not want there to be a lot of blood. But in terms of recognition, sponsorship, in terms of interest for television, MMA, I think that if it enters the Olympics program, it will be on a par with football and athletics in interest.”
Khabib retired following his stoppage win over Justin Gaethje at UFC 254, which saw ‘The Eagle’ submit ‘The Highlight’ with a triangle choke in the second round to retain his lightweight title and extend his professional record to a perfect 29-0.
Despite Nurmagomedov’s ambitious plans outside of the UFC, UFC president Dana White is confident he can convince the 32-year-old to come out of retirement for his 30th fight. White plans to meet with Khabib in Abu Dhabi about a possible comeback.