As we now know, Khabib Nurmagomedov never did fight Tony Ferguson, much to the chagrin of millions of MMA fans. He did, however, fight Conor McGregor in what turned out to be arguably the biggest win of his legendary career.
Even though Khabib would later retire in 2020 after the sudden passing of his father Abdulmanap, two years earlier there were signs that the Eagle would glide off into an early retirement. This article published four years ago to this day was such a sign.
The following article is presented to you in its original, unaltered form courtesy of The MMA News Archives.
On This Day Four Years Ago…
[ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED JANUARY 29, 2018, 12:05 PM]
Headline: Manager: Khabib May Retire After Bouts With Ferguson & McGregor
Author: Fernando Quiles Jr.
It’s possible that Khabib Nurmagomedov won’t be competing for much longer.
Nurmagomedov is set to clash with Tony Ferguson on April 7 for what Dana White claims to be the undisputed Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) lightweight title. Conor McGregor will likely face the winner as he’s still recognized as the lightweight champion as well. Nurmagomedov vs. Ferguson will headline UFC 223 inside the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY.
It’s no secret that injuries and illness have plagued “The Eagle.” Nurmagomedov is 25-0, but his inability to show up on fight night at times has cost him. Now, the dominant 155-pounder insists he is finally ready to seize the moment. So much so, that his manager Ali Abdelaziz told TMZ Sports that McGregor’s title is meaningless (via MMAFighting.com):
“On fight night, Khabib will fight for the undisputed lightweight belt. My demands have been fulfilled. I can give a sh*t what everybody asks, what everybody’s saying. I don’t care if Conor’s stripped [or] not stripped. I know that April 7, Khabib will fight for the lightweight belt and Conor’s belt will go in the trash.”
He went on to say that Nurmagomedov may decide to retire if he beats Ferguson and McGregor.
“We’re gonna beat Tony. We’re gonna stop Tony in three rounds. Khabib’s probably gonna retire undefeated because he’s gonna beat Conor, he’s gonna beat Tony, and he’s probably gonna say ‘Bye-bye.’”
Do you see Nurmagomedov walking away from MMA if he beats Ferguson and McGregor? Sound off in the comments below.