Khabib Nurmagomedov On Retirement Rumours: "I’m Not Ready To Leave Yet"
Khabib Nurmagomedov has shrugged off retirement rumours by claiming he's "not ready to leave" the UFC just yet.
The 30-year-old will defend his UFC lightweight title this weekend in Abu Dhabi and he has no plans to retire anytime soon.
"I'm not ready to leave yet," said the 27-0 Russian fighter. "Yes, I'm not a young fighter, I'm defending my belt for the second time, and I don't have many fights left.
"I don't want to fight when I'm 40. But to make a decision about leaving, I will need to talk with the team, discuss this with my father; I won't make this decision alone."
Nurmagomedov faces Dustin Poirier at UFC 242 in a lightweight unification showdown and he intends to stick around the 155lbs division while explaining his disinterest in taking bouts outside of his weight class.
"I think if you want to improve your legacy by changing weight classes, I don't think this is help for you," he added.
"Only one thing helps for you. You have to beat up-and-comers. What about when you beat tough opponents and you're still undefeated more than the others. I think this is going to improve your legacy.
"If you lose couple times and you win one title, second title, you lose again, and then you win third title, this does not make you great. My opinion, when you're undefeated long time and you never lose, this is when it's real thing.
"When you go to the cage and again, again, again, you win, win, win, win, that helps to talk about 'this guy is tough'. I don't focus on welterweight or featherweight, my focus is the lightweight division.
"I'm a real lightweight and my fights are going to be in the lightweight division. I don't want to change any weight classes. I want to focus on my weight division."
This Saturday, Khabib returns to the octagon 336 days after his last fight...
Where were you when The Eagle stopped McGregor in the fourth round?#UFC242 pic.twitter.com/KhAs4uCpgs
- UFC on BT Sport (@btsportufc) September 2, 2019
Nurmagomedov hasn't fought since his submission victory over Conor McGregor last October, but he makes his anticipated return to the Octagon on Saturday.