Why Khabib Nurmagomedov May Fight Again to Reach the 30-0 Record

Khabib Nurmagomedov is arguably one of the biggest names in the world of mixed martial arts. He is often considered the greatest lightweight and one of the best mixed martial artists ever to live. The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) ranked him as the number one pound-for-pound fighter after winning his second-round fight against Justin Gaethje. 

After this fight, Khabib announced his retirement from MMA following 29 undefeated fights. There are speculations that he might return for one more fight before he completely withdraws himself from active fighting. What are the possibilities that Khabib Nurmagomedov’s last fight will happen? What could make him consider one last dance in the UFC’s octagon? All of these will be covered in this article but first, what is the UFC all about?

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Brief Overview of the UFC

Martial arts have been in existence for several millennials taking place in several locations worldwide. In 1993, the UFC was formed in the United States of America. The body gathered mixed martial arts wrestlers from all over the world and organized fights among them. Series of contests are organized in one single event known as Fight Night. 

The fighters of each event are classified into different weight categories. The table below shows the names of the various categories and the maximum weight allowed for fighters in each class. 

Category TitleMaximum Weight (pounds)
Strawweight115
Flyweight125
Bantamweight135
Featherweight145
Lightweight155
Welterweight170
Middleweight185
Light Heavyweight205
Heavyweight265

The UFC has gained attention from many fans across several continents. The sport is growing fast with exciting fight actions from spectacular fighters, men and women alike. These fighters include; Jon Jones, Kamaru Usman, Israel Adesanya, Conor McGregor, Khabib Nurmagomedov, and many more.

Mixed martial arts fights occur in a ring or fenced area commonly called The Octagon in the UFC. All fighters wear a mouthguard during the fights. The male fighters wear a groin protector while the females wear a chest protector. 

Each contest consists of five rounds of five minutes each with a minute break after each round. The results of each game are determined by three judges based on the techniques and fouls during the match. Winners are selected through any of the following means: submission, knockout, decision, draw, disqualification, technical decision, forfeit technical draw, or no-decision.

Khabib Nurmagomedov Record, Rounds, and Retirement

Born on the 20th of September 1988, Khabib is a former professional mixed martial arts fighter from Russia. He fought in the lightweight division of the UFC and maintained an undefeated record throughout his career – earning him the title of the best pound-for-pound fighter. From April 2018 till he retired from professional martial arts, Khabib was the UFC lightweight champion making him the longest-reigning champion. 

Khabib grew up watching other children fight in the gym on the ground floor of his family’s house. His wrestling career began when he was eight. Khabib Nurmagomedov’s father, Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov, a former athlete and veteran of the Soviet Army, trained him. As Khabib grew up, he indulged in judo, sambo, wrestling, street fights, and dogi before ending up in mixed martial arts. 

Khabib often confessed that his inspiration came from his father, Muhammad Ali, Mike Tyson, and Ronaldo Luiz Nazario. His mixed martial arts career started in 2008, and in his first three years, he had won each of the 16 contests that he participated in by either Total Knockout or Submission. 

His unrivaled victory across the Russian and Ukrainian territories helped him get the attention of the UFC. Khabib was signed immediately, but the ProFC disputed his contract, and he was charged with 11 cases. After ProFC lost six of the cases in court and won five, Khabib was allowed to continue his career with UFC.

Khabib defeated Kamal Shalorus in his debut fight in January 2012, winning by submission in the third round. In January 2013, Khabib beat Thiago Tavares with a knockout in the first round though it was later discovered that Thiago was positive for steroids. He continued to fight and trump all of his opponents, and in 2018, he was unanimously voted as the UFC Lightweight Champion. 

A highlight of his career happened in 2018 when he had to defend his lightweight title against Conor McGregor. Before the match, McGregor threw a dull at a bus conveying several MMA fighters, including Khabib and his team. He also insulted Khabib’s father, wife, and religion. 

The fight was not as eventful as the post-fight. After losing the third round (Khabib’s first loss ever), Khabib won the match by submission in the fourth. After the fight, Khabib leaped out of the octagon and attacked one of McGregor’s cornermen. Two of Khabib’s men also went into the octagon to attack Gregor, and a fight broke out between the two parties. Khabib was later fined and suspended for the rancor. 

He fought with Poirier in 2019 to defend his lightweight championship. He got his victory in the third round with a rear-naked submission. Khabib Nurmagomedov’s next fight was scheduled in April 2020 against Tony Ferguson. However, he could not travel out of Russia because of COVID-19 restrictions. 

During this time, Khabib Nurmagomedov’s father, who was still his coach, died. He traveled out of Russia to face Justin Gaethje. This fight would turn out to be Khabib Nurmagomedov’s last fight. After winning via a TKO in the fifth round, he announced his retirement, saying he would not fight without his father.

Khabib Nurmagomedov
Khabib Nurmagomedov Has Unbeaten 29 Fights to His Credit

Reasons Why Khabib Nurmagomedov May Fight Again

Khabib Nurmagomedov’s record as an undefeated champion in 29 contests will remain in the UFC hall of fame for a long while. However, many people argue whether or not he will come back to bag the last victory to make 30 – 0. Here are five reasons why this might happen. 

  • A victory in the next fight will carve Khabib’s name in mixed martial arts history. If Khabib comes back for one last fight, his success will confirm him as the greatest mixed martial artist of all time.
  • Khabib Nurmagomedov’s next fight can earn him an iconic victory. A 30-0 record will even the figure and make it a standard for other MMA fighters to aim for. 
  • He will become the Floyd Mayweather of MMA. Floyd retired with a 50-0 record in boxing. Retiring with a 30-0 win earns him the zeros to become the Floyd Mayweather of MMA. 
  • He showed interest. In an interview before his last fight, Khabib confirmed that “30-0 is going to be great. It looks good and sounds good”. 
  • To honor his late father. Khabib could return to the octagon to win one last match as a show of respect to his late father.

Conclusion

Whether or not Khabib will return remains unsure. Dana White, the president of the UFC, tried so hard to bring the fighter to the ring for one last fight, but all his efforts proved futile. After retiring, Khabib purchased the Russian MMA body, Gorilla Fighting Championship, for a million dollars. Afterward, he renamed it the Eagle Fighting Championship. While fight fans worldwide will give anything to see Khabib fight once again, the decision lies in the hand of the former Lightweight Champion. 

Garima Tomar

Senior Software Development Analyst at an IT firm

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