Nurmagomedov announced his retirement from the sport after defeating Justin Gaethje at UFC 254 on October 24. Since then, UFC president Dana White has told the media repeatedly that he believes the champion will fight again. Ali Abdelaziz, Nurmagomedov’s manager, has also fueled speculation that “The Eagle” will fight again.
However, Nurmagomedov spoke to the media last week and seemingly ended all speculation about ending his retirement, saying he didn’t have plans to continue fighting.
But, Nurmagomedov Tuesday post has once again ramped up talks about him fighting again. The Russian posted a photo of himself during a UFC 254 press conference on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, with White in the background.
The Eagle wrote, “See you soon @danawhite.” As per MMA Junkie, the two are meeting in Las Vegas soon.
The comment section of Nurmagomedov’s post was flooded with fight speculation.
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‘Let’s Go!’ & Other Comments Flooded the Instagram Post
White responded with two fist emojis. The Ultimate Fighter season one veteran and Nurmagomedov’s teammate, Mike Swick wrote, “I like the sounds of that!”
Former UFC title challenger Jon Fitch wrote, “let’s go!”
Athlete and fighter Erko Jun wrote, “30-0 ?!”
Nurmagomedov is 29-0 and has defended his lightweight title three times, defeating Conor McGregor, Dustin Poirier and Gaethje. He is regarded as one of the greatest fighters of all time and is currently ranked No. 1 on the male pound-for-pound list.
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If Nurmagomedov Fought Again, He Has A Lot of Opponent Options
The Eagle is in the prime of his fighting career which is a reason why so many fans and analysts want to see him continue.
If Nurmagomedov does compete again, there are a few major opponents to look at. Former UFC middleweight and welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre has said multiple times he would be interested in fighting The Eagle in a catchweight bout. “GSP” retired from MMA in 2017 after winning the middleweight strap by defeating Michael Bisping. Nurmagomedov has also expressed excitement over the possible bout.
The biggest pay-per-view in UFC history was UFC 229 when Nurmagomedov fought Conor McGregor in 2018. The promotion sold almost 2.5 million pay-per-views and the rematch could do even better.
The Eagle defeated McGregor by fourth-round submission. “Notorious” is currently ranked No. 4 in the lightweight division and is scheduled to fight No. 2 ranked Dustin Poirier at UFC 257 on January 23, 2021.
Lastly, a bout with No. 3 ranked Tony Ferguson has a dream match for fans. The two have been scheduled to fight five times and the contest has fallen through each time. Ferguson is currently scheduled to fight No. 6 ranked lightweight Charles Oliveira at UFC 256 on December 12.
There are other names out there for Nurmagomedov as well, including former Bellator lightweight champion Michael Chandler.