With the passing of his father, Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov, Khabib Nurmagomedov, widely regarded as one of the best fighters of all time, announced his retirement in 2020.
There have been numerous requests for the 29-0 Russian, who retired with three title defenses under his belt, to return to the ring and recapture his lightweight championship, but he has consistently stated his intention to remain retired.
“Honestly no [I don’t miss it],” Nurmagomedov told The Muslim Money Guys in a recent interview.
“When I miss something like competition, I go to the gym and wrestle, grapple, train. I spend my energy there. Like comeback? Go to the cage? No, I don’t miss it.”
“Because all my life, it was on my hands, not inside my heart. It was never inside my heart. Of course I like it, you have to love what you’re doing. I was a very big fan of sports because my goal was to become the best, to become the champion like everybody has to do. But when I’m finished, I’m finished.”
“It’s easy. It’s very easy [to walk away],” he added. “If it’s inside your heart, to leave this alone it’s very hard. It was inside my heart. Now finished, I go do other things. Nothing [would make me return]. Never. I leave this sport alone, without myself. There is always going to be some champion without my name, too. It’s going to be Charles Oliveira, it’s going to be Islam [Makhachev] or another name after Islam because Islam is not going to be there all his life. Short time, a couple of years, finished.”
“This is a high-level sport. I was champion. Right now, I’m not champion and this is normal. You can never be champion all like seven years, eight years. There is a couple of years, that’s your prime time. Finished, bye-bye. You can stay just to make money but you’ll never be champion.”