UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov shockingly retired in the center of the Octagon after defeating Justin Gaethje in the main event of UFC 254 last month. That second-round submission win ran the Russian’s record to 29-0.
But now the 32-year-old from Dagestan has revealed he’s still being tested by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA).
Why is that important?
It means UFC president Dana White might have been right when he suggested Nurmagomedov may be headed back to the UFC for at least one more superfight.
It also keeps hope alive for seeing both Khabib and St-Pierre back inside the Octagon at least one more time.
You can see Khabib’s post on Instagram below.
“This is 47 times since 2015, as I have been tested for doping of USADA,” Nurmagomedov posted. “Just think about this number.”
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Is Khabib Really Retired?
No matter how many other times Nurmagomedov has been tested by USADA over the years, his latest encounter with the group is the one that matters most.
In fact, Khabib’s latest test goes along with his manager’s recent social media post to suggest the champ is still looking for one more big fight.
By the way, that’s exactly what White told The Zach Gelb Show after Khabib retired, too.
“I’ll tell you this…Khabib and I have been talking…he was completely emotional that night when he got through that fight,” White said. “I have a feeling that he might go for 30-0…I think he’s not going to retire.”
White was so sure about it that he kept Khabib listed as the UFC’s lightweight champion and at the top of the UFC’S pound-for-pound list.
One might even suggest Nurmagomedov still being in USADA’s testing pool at all is a sign he isn’t really retired right now.
Think about it this way: how many retired fighters remain listed as champions?
How many post pictures of themselves with their title belts?
How many submit to random drug tests?
So Khabib might not be retired.
If that’s the case, it could mean the coveted superfight between Nurmagomedov and St-Pierre is still on the table.
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Why Khabib vs. GSP Fight Makes Sense
“The Eagle” has consistently stated over the last few months that facing the former UFC middleweight and welterweight champion “GSP” is the only fight that makes sense to him.
Nurmagomedov has already established himself as the champ over the UFC’s other top contenders at 155 pounds, and he has no interest in fighting rematches against any of the fighters he already defeated.
That includes UFC superstar Conor McGregor.
So Khabib vs. GSP makes sense because it would be the biggest and best fight Khabib could land, one that would pit two of the most accomplished UFC champions ever against each other.
Khabib vs. GSP Was Late Father’s ‘Dream Fight’
On top of that, Khabib vs. GSP was his late father’s “dream fight”.
In July, Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov, Khabib’s father and trainer, died at age 57 due to complications from the coronavirus and other ailments.
Nurmagomedov cited the death of his father as his main reason for retiring, but Nurmagomedov might still have one more big fight on the way.
“His dad wanted him to get to 30-0, and I think he wants to honor his dad’s wish,” White told The Zach Gelb Show.
If that’s the case, Khabib vs. GSP remains the most likely megafight coming down the line.
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