UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov indicated that he doesn’t see himself returning to competition any time soon after speaking to Russian media.
Nurmagomedov and UFC President Dana White held discussions last week about his fighting future.
White announced on UFC on ABC 1 last weekend that Nurmagomedov could come out of retirement if something spectacular happened in this weekend’s lightweight fights at UFC 257 between Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier, or Dan Hooker vs. Michael Chandler.
However, it appears Nurmagomedov isn’t rushing back into fighting as he doesn’t see any opponents that interest him at this time.
“There must be some motivation, some hunger,” Nurmagomedov said via translated text on the video. “If you’re not hungry, you know, I’ve been in sports for so many years. I’ve been doing it all my life. I have achieved almost everything in this sport, and there isn’t someone who I would like to fight now.
“I know that there are many fighters who would like to earn money, who strive for something. What should I do? A lot of people don’t want to understand my side. I don’t see that yet.”
Instead, Nurmagomedov’s interests seem to be more focused on his business ventures. Recently, he acquired his own fight promotion – buying Russia-based banner Gorilla Fighting Championships and relaunched it as Eagle Fighting Championships.
However, “The Eagle” says he still loves training and will continue to do so alongside his long-time teammates in Dagestan.
Despite this, Nurmagomedov didn’t completely close the door on his own MMA career in the long term.
“They constantly discuss, ‘He will come back, he will not come back,'” he said. “You know, today we have 2021. A year ago it was 2020. The same time, January, and so much has happened. We don’t know what will happen in 2022, 2023, you know, so let’s not talk about it. No one knows what will happen tomorrow.
“I don’t even have any plans for the UFC in the near future. I don’t have any thoughts about preparing for the fight.”