At 28-0, 12-0 UFC, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Lightweight champion, Khabib Nurmagomedov, boasts one of the best records of any mixed martial arts (MMA) champion ever.
It’s because of that mint mark that “The Eagle” believes he should be labeled the pound-for-pound best fighter on the planet, since staying unbeaten in no easy task. It’s something he knows all too well which is why he plans on retiring in two or three more years.
“I think a couple of years. Two, three – maximum three. I think maybe two years, in my opinion, because I don’t want to fight all my life because I know it’s very hard,” said Khabib during a recent interview with Arab News via MMA Junkie.
“I know a lot of young, hungry guys are coming, and I know to always be undefeated, undisputed, is not almost impossible – I think it’s impossible,” he added. “You can watch in history. If you watch all athletes like soccer, boxing, MMA, everywhere, one day you’re going to lose. You have to know when you need to stop. I think maybe two years.”
According to Khabib’s father, leaving the sport at 30-0 would be ideal, which means “The Eagle” would only compete two more times before calling it a career. And since the eldest Nurmagomedov has a big say in his son’s career, it’s highly possible.
Khabib admits he never thought about trying to end his career with a perfect record. But now that he sees the finish line, he understands the tough task at hand if he wants to complete his goal.
“Before, I never thought about this – but right now, it’s like I’m almost there,” Nurmagomedov said. “28-0, and in the next couple of years I’m going to compete because I just (turned) 31. This is not too much for this sport, but for sure I think I’m going to finish (at) 33, 34, it’s going to be done. But right now, I have a couple of years to compete.”
Up next for “The Eagle” will likely be a title defense against former interim-division champion, Tony Ferguson, who boasts an impressive win streak himself, winning 12 straight since 2013. Should Khabib defeat “El Cucuy,” there is a Conor McGregor rematch looming, and perhaps a big-money fight against Georges St-Pierre.
Anyone think Nurmagomedov can end his career with a perfect record?