Daniel Cormier Reacts To UFC Not Stripping Khabib Of Title

Daniel Cormier has reacted to the UFC deciding not to strip Khabib Nurmagomedov of the lightweight title.

Nurmagomedov last competed on October 24 against Justin Gaethje. This was a lightweight title unification bout as Gaethje was the interim champion. The UFC 254 headliner ended with Nurmagomedov scoring a second-round submission victory.

After the fight, Nurmagomedov took off his gloves and announced that he has decided to retire. Nurmagomedov said he was fulfilling his mother’s wish to refrain from fighting following the passing of his father, Abdulmanap.

UFC President Dana White later claimed that Nurmagomedov was emotional when he announced his retirement. The UFC boss expressed his belief that “The Eagle” will return in an attempt to go 30-0.

Speaking to ESPN’s Ariel Helwani, Cormier gave his take on the UFC’s decision to hold out in case Nurmagomedov ditches his retirement plans (h/t MMAFighting.com).

“Now that’s smart. I think that’s smart and that speaks to the value that Khabib has… Henry Cejudo said he was done, the same night they announced Petr Yan was gonna fight somebody for that title. You don’t do that to Khabib Nurmagomedov. You sit and hope. You sit and wait and hope. Like Dana said, he was very emotional. You could see it, it all came out of him. So you sit and you wait and you hope that the stance changes and you do get that thirtieth fight.

“You don’t (even) have to make a decision in January. I think you can wait until next summer… The reality is this though, with the way that things have gone with the pandemic and everything, Khabib was gonna fight in April but he didn’t fight until October (and) nobody was yelling, ‘Take the belt from him.’ You’ve got time in regards to Khabib Nurmagomedov and if push comes to shove and he needs more time, create another interim title and he just beats the interim champion. That’s exactly what’s happened the last couple times.”

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