Khabib admits he never contemplated UFC comeback and retired because every fight took away 'age away from my mother'
KHABIB NURMAGOMEDOV has revealed he never once contemplated reversing his decision to retire from mixed martial arts – despite Dana White's efforts to lure him back to the cage.
Nurmagomedov, 32, announced his retirement from the sport shortly after his second-round submission victory over Justin Gaethje at UFC 254 last October.
UFC supremo White tried multiple times to convince the undefeated Russian to reverse his decision to hang up his gloves but ended his bid earlier this week.
But Nurmagomedov insists the thought of strapping on his gloves again never crossed his mind.
When asked if he debated performing a U-turn on his retirement, he told ESPN: “(I never contemplated a return after retiring). Dana called this official, but I retired like four, six months ago.
“It’s very funny: Dana told me when he posted that someone commented saying, ‘Hey, he retired not today, he retired about five months ago,’ and I was like it’s funny.
"We had some conversations with Dana a couple of times and like two days ago we meet with him to talk like two real men.
"We had a very good conversation with them, good dinner, and I really appreciated him not only for me, but all the sport.”
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Nurmagomedov's decision to retire stemmed from the promise he made to his mother not to compete without his late father and coach, Abdulmanap by his side.
He said: “It’s very hard when you have power, when you’re the best in the world, when you’re famous, have money and say to everything like this, ‘No.'
"It’s very hard. People maybe will never understand me, but I really hope they’re going to support my decision because everyone has their views.
“My view and my relationship with my mother, I feel like I have to stop because I feel like in every fight, every training camp, this takes some age away from my mother.
"And it’s like what do I have to do? I came to this sport to show who I am and became the best, I’m world champion, and pound-for-pound No. 1. I defended my title three times.
" I defended my title in biggest fight of UFC history. What else? Only money-fights, but I don’t need money.”
Nurmagomedov, who retired with a perfect 29-0 record, is more than content with his Hall-of-Fame career.
He said: "I'm very happy about my journey. Right now, I don't have anything to show people.
"I did everything in this sport.
"Two days ago when I talked to Dana, I told him everything about how I feel, and he said he is going to support me."
When asked about his legacy in the sport, Russian's first UFC champion said: "Honestly, I don't know.
"This is the people's decision. My job was to smash my opponents, and I did this perfectly.
"Nobody was close. I defended my title three times. This is the people's decision."
Nurmagomedov is looking forward to what the future holds for him and spending time with his loved ones.
The Dagestani destroyer said: "I have some business projects. I'm gonna make money. I'm gonna enjoy my life.
"I have kids. And I have my brothers, they're still fighting, and I'm going to support them. Abubakar fights next week."
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