KEY POINTS

  • Khabib Nurmagomedov may return to the cage to keep the promise to his late father
  • Dana White sees Nurmagomedov unretiring at some point
  • Nurmadomedov may still keep his promise of taking one more fight before officially retiring

Khabib Nurmagomedov officially retired from mixed martial arts (MMA), but it appears that not all are buying it.

For some, there is a chance that “The Eagle” can change his mind and this seems to be what UFC president Dana White is suggesting.

Most know that Nurmagomedov is grieving from the loss of his father, Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov, who died due to complications caused by the coronavirus. It was a burden to carry for the UFC lightweight champion who also promised his mother he would stop fighting.

The current state of Nurmagomedov is understandable. However, there is a chance that things could change somewhere over the horizon.

White feels that at some point, Nurmagomedov could make a u-turn and believes there is good reason to do so when he spoke to CBS Radio.

"He was completely emotional that night when he got through that fight. I have a feeling that he might go for 30-0,” White said.  "I think that's he's not going to retire. His dad wanted him to get to 30-0, and I think he wants to honor his dad's wish."

For now, an answer to that will have to wait. Though White’s revelation makes sense, Nurmagomedov needs the time now to be with his family.

No one knew what was happening from Nurmagomedov’s end. The shocking announcement caught most by surprise.

Though he has talked about retiring after two fights, no one expected it to come at UFC 254. The Russian won over Justin Gaethje via technical submission in the second round to unify the UFC's 155-pound championship.

"Today I want to say this is my last fight. No way am I coming here without my father. When UFC called me about Justin I spoke with my mother for three days," Nurmagomedov stated in his post-fight interview. "She didn't want me to fight without father and I said this is my last fight - and I have given her my word."

It was in 2019 when Abdulmanap told news outlets that they wanted his son to reach 30-0 and retire undefeated.

It aligns with the last two fights Nurmagomedov previously mentioned although it was likely made on the premise that his dad would still be around to see those last fights.

All over: Mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter Khabib Nurmagomedov All over: Mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter Khabib Nurmagomedov Photo: AFP / Kirill KUDRYAVTSEV