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O’Malley: Maybe ‘Khabib stepped away’ from fighting because of Charles Oliveira

Sean O’Malley talks about the hypothetical yet hyped matchup between Charles Oliveira and Khabib Nurmagomedov.

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When Khabib Nurmagomedov decided to end his fighting career nearly two years ago, he was arguably the most accomplished and most dominant UFC lightweight champion of his time. “The Eagle” walked away from the sport with a 29-0 record by putting the formidable Justin Gaethje to sleep in the second round of their UFC 254 headliner.

Since then, the 33-year-old Dagestani has kept that door closed to focus on other endeavors. But for bantamweight contender Sean O’Malley, there could be other reasons why Khabib chose to stay away.

In his recent appearance on Canal Encarada, “Sugar” Sean spoke about the hypothetical yet very hyped matchup between Khabib and former champion Charles Oliveira.

“That’s the one interesting fight that I would like to see if Khabib came back in the division. Everyone else, I think Khabib kind of mauls. I think Charles is the only one that can really give Khabib problems,” he said.

“Who knows? Maybe that’s why Khabib stepped away. Maybe he saw (and said) ‘I don’t want that guy.’”

Khabib’s long-time friend and training partner Islam Makhachev is expected to fill in for his absence to face “Do Bronx.” Oliveira, however, is leaning towards a fight against Conor McGregor while he waits for Makhachev to face “big names” at 155 pounds.