Khabib Nurmagomedov has something up his sleeve.
It’s been over two years since the undefeated 29-0 Nurmagomedov called it a career, defeating Justin Gaethje at UFC 254 in Oct. 2020 via a second-round triangle choke submission (watch highlights). Dagestan’s Nurmagomedov, 34, has remained a fixture in mixed martial arts (MMA) in life after retirement, coaching some of his fellow countrymen and relatives as well as running Eagle Fighting Championship for a brief spell.
The former UFC Lightweight champion, Nurmagomedov, recently revealed he’d be taking a break from all things combat sports without providing a reason why. “The Eagle” got fans excited for the future earlier today (Thurs., April 6, 2023), however, sharing on Instagram a video of himself running on the treadmill.
“July I have to be ready. ( not MMA ),” Nurmagomedov’s caption on his video read.
Fans can only speculate what Nurmagomedov is hinting at with his apparent return to athletic training. The all-time great has remained consistent with his intentions to never return to MMA, as indicated by his comment, but other opportunities have always floated around him.
One of Nurmagomedov’s dream fights he desired before retiring at a hopeful 30-0 — until his mother asked him to hang up the gloves early — was a showdown with his fellow all-time great, the former UFC Welterweight and Middleweight champion, Georges St-Pierre. Always in shape and now free of his UFC contract, St-Pierre has also remained adamant that he won’t return to MMA, but has toyed with the idea of boxing and grappling matches. The latter of which would ideally come against Nurmagomedov.
Whatever Nurmagomedov has planned for July 2023 might not be fighting-related at all ... at least for him as a competitor. With his relative and current reigning Bellator champion, Usman Nurmagomedov, and UFC champion, Islam Makhachev, continuing their successes, Khabib might be ready to get back to some direct involvement with the sport he left a mark in.