Dana White still trying to persuade Khabib Nurmagomedov back to the UFC Octagon

UFC president Dana White is still trying to persuade the legendary Khabib Nurmagomedov to come out of retirement, with White reportedly willing to pay the Russian an enormous amount of money for a comeback fight.

Widely considered one of the greatest MMA fighters of all time, Nurmagomedov retired following his victory over Justin Gaethje at UFC 254 in October last year.

The fight was contested at a blisteringly high pace, but early in the second round, Nurmagomedov landed a stunning takedown and very quickly submitted Gaethje via triangle choke.

Following his victory, the Russian broke down in tears in the centre of the octagon over the recent death of his father and coach, Abdulmanap.

Shortly after, Nurmagomedov announced that the fight would be his last in the UFC and that he was retiring was MMA.

Despite UFC president Dana White attempting for months to persuade Nurmagomedov to compete one last time, in March White accepted his decision and Nurmagomedov officially vacated the UFC lightweight title.

In a recent interview on the UFC Russia YouTube channel, the Eagle was asked when Dana White finally realised that his decision to retire was final.

Do you think Khabib Nurmagomedov will fight again? Let us know in the comments section below.

“He didn’t realise it and he didn’t give up.

“If he was a fighter, he would never give up. He would be knocked out, he would fall asleep after being strangled. But he still wouldn’t given up.

“A couple of weeks ago Abdelaziz (Nurmagomedov’s manager) told me that Dana called him and asked: ‘Why does Khabib never ask how much money I can offer him for his return?’

“I said to Abdelaziz, ‘Are you asking me? I’m not interested in this anymore.’

“We went down this road. I said and did everything I wanted. I made a decision, but Dana doesn’t give up.

“Even the entire UFC office in Las Vegas, where all the people work, think that I am pricing myself up. That I am finished, but if you want to convince me, give me money. There is a feeling that they think so. But over time, they will understand.”

Instead of returning to MMA, Nurmagomedov has been offered contracts by several football teams in Russia and is reportedly keen on signing.

According to MMAFighting, Legion Dynamo and FC Kamaz have offered the former UFC lightweight champion a deal. Both teams play in the third tier of Russian domestic football, with FC Kamaz leading their group and Legion Dynamo currently sat fourth in theirs.

While he probably won’t reach the same heights in his football career as he did in MMA, the chance to see Nurmagomedov compete in any sport again will, without doubt, be worth watching.

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