'It's official': UFC world stunned after boss confirms Khabib call

Riley Morgan
·Sports Reporter
·2-min read
UFC fighter Khabib Nurmagomedov (pictured) talking to the commentator after the fight.
UFC boss Dana White has announced Khabib Nurmagomedov (pictured) has officially retired. (Getty Images)

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."

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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.

Khabib Nurmagomedov announces his retirement in the Octagon after his victory over Justin Gaethje in their lightweight title bout during the UFC 254 event on October 25, 2020 on UFC Fight Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
Khabib Nurmagomedov announces his retirement in the Octagon after his victory over Justin Gaethje in their lightweight title bout during the UFC 254 event on October 25, 2020 on UFC Fight Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

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.

He confirmed an ESPN report that Michael Chandler will face Charles Oliveira for the vacant title on May 15 at UFC 262.

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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