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Coach: Khabib Nurmagomedov early retirement ‘potentially happening’ following UFC 209

UFC 205: Nurmagomedov v Johnson Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) lightweight No. 1 contender. Khabib Nurmagomedov, is perhaps one victory away from earning his first-ever 155-pound title shot, depending on how this plays out.

But the mixed martial arts (MMA) community won’t have a handle on when — or if — “The Eagle” will make his Octagon return, as the former Sambo sensation is headed to Germany for a complete physical.

Depending on the results, we may have seen the last of Nurmagomedov, according to head coach Javier Mendez, who told Submission Radio that early retirement is “potentially happening” if Eagle Sr. decides it’s the best course of action.

His words:

“Being that his father, like I said, is a huge influence on him and if that’s what him and his father decide to do then that’s what will happen. And I support it if that’s what they want. But you know, time will tell, right? I mean, he first has to get that title and I think that’s a very important thing in his life, and I would think if his body is not 100 percent healthy and his mind is the way it’s always been, like wanting to be the best, then it may be longer than 30 because of the fact that things like this happen – delays, injuries, he gets injured, his opponent gets injured. But I see it potentially happening if that’s what they wish.”

The original timeline (see it) was less than two years.

But that plan was hatched long before Nurmagomedov was hospitalized for failing to make weight for his UFC 209 pay-per-view (PPV) co-main event, scheduled for last weekend in Las Vegas, Nevada.

More on that drama here.

So until we know just how much damage — if any — was sustained during his latest (and failed) weight cut, it’s impossible to predict if or when the oft-injured Nurmagomedov will return.

But you know what promotion president Dana White says about retirement talk...

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