In a first notable appearance after announcing his retirement, Khabib Nurmagomedov addressed his ultimate decision.
The marquee event which was pitted to mark the comeback of the undisputed Lightweight champion, Khabib Nurmagomedov, turned out to be his probable last, as after defeating his opponent at UFC 254, Nurmagomedov decided to still “Khabib’s time” at 29-0.
While, his decision to retire came as a shock for his fans and followers, but much to their delight, in the following week the Eagle was declared as the new Pound-For-Pound No.1, and moreover an optimistic break-out about him not calling it quits with the sport, was also laid out by none other than UFC president Dana White, who said he expects Khabib to come back for one more fight.
However, there is still uncertainly regarding his status quo, and in the midst of all the speculations, he has addressed his decision to hung up his gloves at the age of 32.
Khabib Nurmagomedov Opens Up About His Decision To Retire From UFC
After a remarkable outing at Fight Island, Abu Dhabi, Khabib Nurmagomedov is back in Russia, and on Thursday, he met the Head of Dagestan. The interaction was recorded on camera, and RT Sport MMA released it. During the meet, the leader congratulated Nurmagomedov, who in-turn expressed his gratitude and then spoke about the fight and the decision he made thereafter.
“This fight was like no other,” Khabib said. “The emotions in this fight were completely different. Everything was completely different without my father. I was offered the fight right after everything happened. I had the decision to accept it or turn it down. Nobody knew about this, or retire, or I could come back, fight and then retire. Now I tell the people close to me that aren’t happy with me retiring that even if I fought 10 more times, I’d still have to face that decision.
“This decision could come up when I’m 32, 34, 35. It’s a hard decision because I’ve been fighting all my life. I’ve been on the mats for as long as I remember. It’s difficult to leave and do something else. People can’t understand it, but what can you do?”
Though, with this statement, it seems he is not inclined towards a return. However, as per Dana White, he is still the holder of the Lightweight gold. And thus until an official announcement about his relinquishment comes, the picture around his UFC future might remain unclear.
Fans Proved To Be The Driving Force
Further in his oration, Khabib thanked his fans and conveyed that he is aware about the responsibility that comes after being at the receiving end of such a huge following.
“I have many supporters in not just Dagestan but all of Russia and around the world, I have a responsibility to them, that responsibility worried me. I had serious injuries, I was hospitalized for five days in mid-September. Then I came back and broke my toe. Those words about overcoming yourself are true. If a person doesn’t break psychologically, it will be hard to break them physically because the mind breaks before bones.”
Khabib also reflected on the tragedy he suffered in the form of his father’s passing. He weighed on the statement that, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, and states that, in this case his fans became the major driving force for him.
“Everything that happened to me psychologically before this fight gave me strength. I can’t describe, inside and outside of the octagon, during my weight cut and preparation. A big factor in that strength was the immense support of my fans.
“My father and I always used to meet fans when we arrived at the airport. This time we thought it would be best not to gather a lot of people. Given this chance, I’d like to thank them for the emotional support.”
Khabib Nurmagomedov has certainly set a precedent for his people, and he concluded the session by showcasing his gratefulness for being the subject that brings positive impact to Dagestan.
“Dagestan doesn’t always show the best image on TV and the internet. (so) I get a lot of motivation when my victories bring positivity to our people.”
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