Khabib Nurmagomedov is content to enjoy retired life by swapping the octagon for the football pitch, despite rumours of a Conor McGregor rematch.
The former UFC lightweight champion walked away from fighting in the immediate aftermath of his dominant display against Justin Gaethje on Fight Island at UFC 254.
The 32-year-old walked away from the brutal world of MMA after making a promise to not fight again to his mother following the tragic death of his father.
With a perfect record of 29-0 and with his promise to his mother still kept, the Russian is taking the time to enjoy some well-earned rest and recuperation with his friends.
Of course, when you are a former UFC champion and one of the greatest athletes of your generation, your contact book is a little bit more star-studded and fans were amazed to see Khabib and his pals having a kick about with Clarence Seedorf.
The Real Madrid, AC Milan and Netherlands legend teamed up with the MMA icon for a game against Burak Özdemir – a Turkish chef known on social media as @cznburak who is renowned for his incredible recipes.
Given his obvious competitive nature, Khabib showed off an array of incredible skills during the match at the NAS Sports Complex in Dubai, even managing to burn past an opponent with an incredible burst of pace.
Despite wearing running trainers and UFC trunks during the game, it was clear the Real Madrid fan, who labelled Seedorf his favourite player growing up, is not concerned about events which will unfold mere miles away from where he was enjoying himself with his friends.
Former rival Conor McGregor – who has his own football bromance with Kieran Tierney – is making a comeback at the Etihad Arena on Fight Island against Dustin Poirier at UFC 257 – a rematch almost seven years in the making with potentially huge ramifications now Khabib has retired.
President Dana White told ESPN a win for ‘The Notorious’ against Poirier would make it almost impossible for him NOT to book a rematch after their first fight in 2018.
“No matter what you think of Conor personally, Conor McGregor is not only one of the best in the world, [but] one of the best to ever do it,” White said.
“Right now he’s as focused as he’s ever been. I don’t know if this is going to be the same Conor after the Poirier fight. Like you said, Conor goes like this [makes up-and-down gesture].
“But if this Conor sticks around for the next year, how do you not do Khabib vs. Conor again?
“The division’s stacked with tough guys and the reality is that if Khabib does retire then whoever the highest-ranked guy is at the time will end up facing Conor—if Conor beats Poirier and would fight for the title—I’m sure.”