UFC chief Dana White begs Khabib to make retirement U-turn as Russian reveals why he quit after Justin Gaethje win10/29/2020
UFC legend Khabib Nurmagomedov has revealed Dana White is begging him to shelve his retirement.
Just moments after securing a stunning stoppage victory against Justin Gaethje to defend his lightweight title, Khabib announced he was calling it quits.
It came as a surprise to even his corner, but the 32-year-old revealed he made a promise to his mother to do so.
Now the undefeated fighter says it is 'mission accomplished' and he can retire 'at his peak'.
Speaking to reporters, as translated by RT.com, Khabib said: “Of course [UFC president] Dana [White] wants me to continue fighting and generate revenue.
“I can make money myself. I’m at the peak of my career and can fight for very large purses, but I made this decision, and I think this is the best time.
"Not everyone can retire at their peak, but I know that in a year, two or five [years] I’d have to face that decision again.
"I did enough in the sport to be considered the best. Today, I was ranked as the No1 pound-for-pound fighter, so the mission is accomplished.
"What else is there to do? Make money? I’ll always be able to do that.”
But one member of his corner believes the MMA expert could be tempted by a return to the octagon in time.
Speaking exclusively to SunSport about the shock announcement, Javier Mendez said: "Look at his emotions, he was in tears, he was all over the place.
"I had no idea, he never said anything to me, so I was just like everyone else. But hey, you know what, I understood the father burden was too much.
"You saw how much he let out, and I went up to him and told him, 'I love you, cry and just let it out'.
"Khabib, he was extremely emotional and what he does with that, I don't know.
"I know he said what he said, but he was extremely emotional and time will tell if it will stick or not.
"Honestly, I don't know and I'm not going to talk to him about it either, not my job. My job is to love him and coach him when he wants to fight."
Nurmagomedov's dad and mentor Abdulmanap died in July aged 57 after contracting coronavirus.
And it was clear in the lead-up and after the Gathje win that Khabib is still badly affected by the loss.
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