Is Khabib Nurmagomedov returning to UFC? Daniel Cormier, Dana White, and legend’s coach and manager on potential comeback and George St-Pierre fight

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As Conor McGregor vs Dustin Poirier at UFC 257 rapidly approaches, the questions over Khabib Nurmagomedov’s future arise at the same time.

Many had thought this clash between McGregor and Poirier, seven years on from their first meeting which McGregor won, might be for the lightweight title after Khabib retired following his defeat of Justin Gaethje last October.

Khabib announced his retirement immediately after defeating Justin Gaethje

Getty Images – Getty

Khabib announced his retirement immediately after defeating Justin Gaethje

However, it is not.

Despite retiring, Khabib has not vacated the title yet and UFC president Dana White has revealed he is meeting with the Russian the week of the UFC 257 showdown.

So, will the unbeaten legend really return to the sport?

Khabib’s coach, Javier Mendez says he genuinely has no idea.

“We never discussed anything,” said Mendez. “He never told me he was going to retire. I never knew he was gonna retire, and we never talked about it.

“Okay, if you’re retired, you’re retired. If you’re not, you’re not. I’m with you no matter what. So if he says coach, let’s get training, we’ll get training.

UFC president Dana White tells CBS Sports Radio that he has been talking to Khabib Nurmagomedov and thinks he will come back to make it 30-0

“I never discussed ‘are you really retired’ with him, so I really can’t say yes he’s retired or no he’s not retired, because I never really had that conversation with him.”

However, Khabib’s manager Ali Abdelaziz believes there is at least one fight UFC could make for Khabib that would tempt him back.

He said: “Honestly, I think if George St-Pierre is serious about coming back, that’s a fight I could see it happening, that would get Khabib out.”

Both Khabib and GSP have previously said they want that fight and it was Khabib’s late father’s dream for them to square off. He also wanted to see his son reach 30-0, with Khabib retiring one win away from that record.

Daniel Cormier, a teammate of Khabib’s since 2012, believes the GSP fight is the way to get The Eagle back as well.

“It would have to be Georges St-Pierre,” Cormier said. “I believe that a big fight is what he would want in order to just prove himself. Like you said, Khabib Nurmagomedov is just trying to make history and a win over Georges St-Pierre would do exactly that for him.”

Khabib beat Gaethje to end his career 29-0

Handout – Getty

Khabib beat Gaethje to end his career 29-0

White has remained respectful of Khabib’s decision to quit UFC.

The 32-year-old said he promised his mother he would not fight again after his defeat of Gaethje, and also revealed he didn’t want to fight without his father in his corner anymore.

However, White has also maintained that while Khabib remains even remotely open to returning, he will try his best to get him back.

In an interview with TMZ Sports, the UFC president said: “The truth is, [Khabib] is not committed to anything. What he has committed to is meeting with me next month [at Fight Island].

“We’re gonna find out how persuasive I can be. I’ll bet on me every time.”





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