Although we would like to see him back, Khabib Nurmagomedov remains retired.
“The Eagle” has accomplished one of the rarest feats in any sport: coming out on top. Coming off a 29th straight victory over Justin Gaethje in October 2020 (watch highlights), Nurmagomedov announced that this was the last time fans would see him compete inside the Octagon.
Since then, new lightweight stars have emerged at the top of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) ranks, but none have been as dominant as most recent champion Charles Oliveira and the No. 3 ranked contender. , Islam Makhachev. With Oliveira holding the gold and continually looking better and more dominant with each win, the community couldn’t help but wonder how a matchup between him and Nurmagomedov would have played out.
“I feel bad for these guys because people still talk about me when it’s the time of Islam and Charles,” Nurmagomedov told The Underground. “I leave it alone but people also have to leave me alone because they have to give credit. People think I don’t respect Charles Oliveira, I respect him. How can I not respect him? He has 11 consecutive wins. He beat a lot of good guys, he finished them. He’s a great athlete, it’s his time, just give him his credit. But please don’t forget Islam either. He has 10 straight wins. They both deserve to fight for the title and they have to fight for the title, forget me.
While Nurmagomedov’s legacy and achievements will stand the test of time, it’s all relative according to the 33-year-old Dagestan destroyer. Everyone has their time, and it is no longer theirs.
“Believe me, it’s not about me. It was just early in my career, it was the BJ Penn era,” Nurmagomedov explained. “After becoming Frankie Edgar, after becoming Benson Henderson then Anthony Pettis then [Rafael] dos Anjos then Eddie Alvarez then Conor [McGregor] so it was my time. My time is now up. It’s like Charles time, okay? After can become the time of Islam. You won’t stay on this game for long. The career of professional athletes is very short. You can only be at the top for a few years. Four, five years and it goes very quickly.
“When was my time? Of course, I’m like, ‘There’s no way people are talking about another fighter, another lightweight.’ Because I am here. Now I’m done,” he concluded. “I leave it alone, just let these guys fight for the undisputed title. Islam against Charles and that’s it.