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Dana White: Khabib won’t even return for a grappling match

According to UFC president Dana White, Khabib Nurmagomedov won’t even entertain a possible grappling match.

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Unlike many fighters who retired in their prime, former UFC champion Khabib Nurmagomedov seems to be one of the few ones who plan to stick to their decision. “The Eagle” apparently turned down offers from the UFC and likely won’t accept them for any amount of money, at least according to people close to him.

White previously stated that he “won’t push it” if his former fighter continues to say no. But as he said in a recent appearance on the Jim Rome Show, White gave it another shot, this time with something different.

“Khabib’s retired. It’s weird that you asked me that question,” he said. “I just reached out to him recently to see if he’s interested in something and he’s like, ‘I’m retired, brother. I’m done.’

“I don’t think Khabib ever comes back.

“It was something different. I was trying to get him to do a grappling match. He’s like, ‘I’m done, I’m retired.’”

White believes the passing of Khabib’s father ultimately closed the doors on any possible return.

“I think that when his father passed away, that was a wrap for him. And he’s just focused on training other guys and helping them become world champions.”

Khabib (29-0), who was recently inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame, retired at the age of 32 after putting Justin Gaethje to sleep at UFC 254 in 2020. He’s currently focused on training Islam Makhachev, who faces Charles Oliveira for the vacant lightweight title at UFC 280 in October.