Just In Khabib Nurmagomedov on retirement: ‘I don’t have a lot of fights ahead’ MMA Life

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Khabib Nurmagomedov is widely considered one of the best pound-for-pound fighters on planet earth, but according to the UFC lightweight champion, that doesn’t mean his competitive career will last forever.

The 30-year-old Nurmagomedov (27-0 MMA, 11-0 UFC) will defend his title against interim Dustin Poirier (25-5 MMA, 17-4 UFC) in the main event of UFC 242.

The event takes place Saturday, Sept. 7 at du Arena, in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and will stream on pay-per-view after prelims on ESPN+.

On a pre-event conference call Friday afternoon, Nurmagomedov was asked how much longer he plans to fight for. The Russian responded he isn’t ready to walk away quite yet, but also doesn’t want to overextend is stay in MMA.

“Good question,” Nurmagomedov said. “Not yet, but I’m not a young fighter. I’ve already been champion for years. I’ve already defended my title. This is my second defense. Of course, I don’t have a lot of fights ahead, because I don’t want to fight when I’m 40 years old. This isn’t my plan. We’ll see.”

When the time comes for thoughts of looming retirement to be considered, Nurmagomedov said he will rely on those around him to help him make an informed, level-headed choice.

“Before I make a decision, I have to talk with my father, I have to talk with coach Javier (Mendez), all my brothers, (management team) Dominance MMA and all the people around me,” Nurmagomedov said. “I can’t make this decision alone. But right now, I’m focused on competition, because I have too much fire inside me.”

UFC 242 will mark the first time Nurmagomedov has competed inside the cage since UFC 229 in October 2018. After he successfully defended his title against former champ Conor McGregor, “The Eagle” leaped out of the cage onto his foe’s cornermen. The jump resulted in a cage-side brawl and a subsequent nine-month suspension from the NevadaAthletic Commission.

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