Khabib Talks Retiring At 30-0 And McGregor – Poirier Fighting At 170lbs
Although Khabib Nurmagomedov may be facing his toughest challenge to date against Justin Gaethje at UFC 254, the undefeated champion continues to hint at retirement at a perfect 30-0.
A win this Saturday over Gaethje will grant Khabib his third straight title defence, and also improve his record to an outstanding 29-0. Throughout his UFC career, the 32-year-old has dominated everyone the promotion has put in front of him.
While speaking with Yahoo Sports (transcribed by The Body Lock), Khabib once again opened up on the perfect time to consider hanging up his gloves for good.
“Honestly, I don’t know,” Khabib said. “30-0 is going to be great. It’s looking good, it sounds good. 30-0, okay. It’s going to be a great record, this is like Mayweather in MMA. We’ll see, I’m very close to it.”
If Khabib remains the champion after UFC 254, not many options are left for the undefeated lightweight, considering he will have essentially cleared out his division, minus Tony Ferguson. What would come next remains to be seen, but it has been suggested the UFC would be open to a superfight between Georges St-Pierre and the Russian. Both sides have also expressed a tremendous amount of interest in the bout. However, at what weight continues to be a talking point because of the big difference in size.
Regardless of who Khabib faces for his 30th professional fight, he still remains focused on the task ahead of him, beating Gaethje this weekend on Fight Island.
“Who knows?” Khabib said. “Okay, I finish Justin Gaethje, I finish one more guy, I dominate him—I think my name is going to be always in history. I think already my name is going to be in history because two years ago what happened [against McGregor] is never going to be forgotten. Even after 50 years, people are going to watch this fight and be impressed. This is like when Muhammad Ali fought [Joe] Frazier in Manila. People never forget this fight.
“I’m already in history but I need legacy. For legacy, Justin Gaethje is a great opponent right now.”
Khabib vs McGregor 2?
Despite often stating that he has no interest in fighting McGregor again, Khabib recently said that if the Irishman beats Ferguson or Dustin Poirier, he will give him a rematch. With ‘The Notorious’ set to face ‘The Diamond’ on January 23rd, ‘The Eagle’ told TSN, that he would honour this. But on one condition.
“I still feel this but you have to fight at 155 [pounds],” Khabib stated. “If you fight at 170 or 185, this is not a lightweight contender fight. If you want to fight in lightweight division for the belt, then you have to fight in lightweight.”
“What is this? I am champion in 155, but give me fight at 170? Okay then, let’s make weight with Justin Gaethje at 170. It’s the same thing. If you want to fight for the title at 155, you have to make weight at 155.”
McGregor’s coach John Kavanagh recently took to social media to say that Conor vs Dustin would be at welterweight. And Khabib is surprised that Poirier has agreed to this.
“I don’t understand why Dustin show his weakness,” Khabib continued. “This is just my opinion. You have to say something, and this is my opinion. He have to do something, too. They ask him to fight and Conor said I am going to donate you money and he say ‘yes, yes, yes.’
“But Dustin is a lightweight fighter, he’s not a welterweight fighter. Why are you going to fight at 170? If you want to fight for the title, then you have to make 155. So we will see. This Saturday the two best lightweights in the world are going to compete, and they are not Dustin and Conor.”
Do you think Khabib Nurmagomedov retires unbeaten? And do you think we’ll ever see a rematch with Conor McGregor?