UFC boss Dana White has officially announced Khabib Nurmagomedov will not be returning to fight after putting to bed speculation he would make a comeback.
Khabib announced his retirement after his successful title challenge against Justin Gaethje in October last year.
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He broke down in tears in the middle of the octagon as he soaked up his victory, before dropping the bombshell news that he’s retiring with a record of 29-0.
Despite this, White said he wasn't retired and has held meetings with the undefeated champion to discuss his return to the ring in an attempt to reach a 30-0 record.
But on Friday, White put to bed any speculation he could return to the octagon after what looked like a further meeting with the champion.
"29-0 it is. He is officially retired. It was incredible to watch you work," White wrote.
'Thank you for EVERYTHING and enjoy whatever is next my friend."
Speculation over Khabib return
There were a number of big-money fights on the table for Nurmagomedov, and none bigger than a rematch with bitter rival and former champion Conor McGregor.
White never believed that the lure of the big money would draw Nurmagomedov back, but White felt his competitive spirit just might.
And so he pushed and prodded and cajoled and pleaded, not giving up until Thursday, a week shy of five full months since Khabib's first declaration of retirement.
White told Yahoo Sports US by text message on Thursday that the title is vacant and that Dustin Poirier, who defeated McGregor by TKO in January at UFC 257, is not the champion.
Whichever of those men wins it will have a monumental task living up to the standard that Nurmagomedov set.
He leaves the sport as the greatest active fighter.
with Kevin Iole - Yahoo Sport US
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