Khabib Nurmagomedov Remains UFC Lightweight Champion Despite Retirement
Khabib Nurmagomedov hasn’t vacated the UFC Lightweight Championship yet.
Nurmagomedov shared the Octagon with Justin Gaethje in a title unification bout. Going into the match, Gaethje was the interim titleholder. Nurmagomedov left no doubt as to who the 155-pound king is as he turned in a dominant performance. “The Eagle” choked out Gaethje in the second round via triangle.
After the fight, Nurmagomedov announced his retirement. He cited his mother’s request to see him refrain from fighting without his father, Abdulmanap. Khabib’s father passed away earlier this year.
Speaking to reporters during the UFC Vegas 12 post-fight press conference, UFC President Dana White revealed that Nurmagomedov will be given some more time before a decision is made on the UFC Lightweight Title (via MMAFighting.com).
“He didn’t say that he’ll fight whatever but he didn’t say no. He’s considering the 30-0. His father wanted it and I think that he was super emotional. Had the mumps or measles or whatever, broken toe, trained on a stationary bike for that fight and then came in and fought.. I think he was super emotional.
“He’s still the champ. There’s no vacant title open right now or no interim title happening. He’s the champ and we’ll give him some time to figure out what he wants to do.”
If Nurmagomedov holds true to his retirement, then he does so with a record of 29-0. He’d also get to leave MMA competition as the undisputed UFC Lightweight Champion. Still, the opportunity to go 30-0 could lure “The Eagle” into sticking around a bit longer.