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Cormier: It’s going to take more than money for Dana White to convince Khabib to make UFC return

UFC 254: Press Conference Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President, Dana White, is set to meet with Khabib Nurmagomedov — who is still technically the promotion’s Lightweight champion despite retiring at UFC 254 — to talk about his fighting future.

According to “The Eagle,” there is no more future for him in the fighting world, though the outspoken head honcho is adamant his dominant champion will return for at least one more fight, and he has the checkbook to make it happen.

But according to Daniel Cormier, a man who knows Khabib probably more than anyone in the MMA world, it’s going to take more than a big fat paycheck to convince the undefeated (29-0, 13-0 UFC) champion to mount a comeback.

“I asked Khabib once, I said, ‘How much money would it take for me to be rich in Dagestan?’ He said, ‘$5 million, and you’re rich for the rest of your life,’” Cormier said during a recent interview with UFC’s Laura Sanko (transcribed by Bloody Elbow).

“Khabib has much more than $5 million. So I don’t know how much the money is gonna be the thing that draws him back to the Octagon.

“Dana’s gonna have to tap into something within his spirit to try to get him to fight again because he’s one of those guys that doesn’t need as much. He makes so much money outside of the Octagon at this point, that it would have to be something that would drive him competitively to come back and fight. I don’t think it’s gonna be money that makes him go back to the Octagon.”

As far as what White can use to lure Nurmagomedov to come back for one more, that could be a bit tricky. That’s because “The Eagle” has already declared that he has no interest in rematching Conor McGregor or Dustin Poirier again seeing as how he already forced them to submit.

A fight against Tony Ferguson is no longer an option thanks to back-to-back losses “El Cucy” suffered at the hands of Justin Gaethje and Charles Oliveira. Speaking of which, a potential scrap against “Do Bronx” doesn’t quite have a big enough appeal factor for Khabib to take the fight. There is always a fight against Michael Chandler, assuming he gets through Dan Hooker at UFC 257, though that may also not be enough.

At the end of the day, it seems a much-desired showdown against former UFC Welterweight and Middleweight champion, Georges St-Pierre, could be the only viable bait big enough to perhaps convince Nurmagomedov to attempt to get win number 30 under his belt.

But at this point in St-Pierre’s life, what are the chances of that actually happening?