Khabib Nurmagomedov decides against retirement, reportedly targets Super Bowl weekend return

By Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief

Khabib Nurmagomedov will not be retiring, according to a report from UFC Tonight on Fox Sports 1 on Wednesday night.

Per the report from Ariel Helwani, Nurmagomedov relayed that his father’s counsel was that he has unfinished business in the sport, and he can think about retirement after he’s captured UFC gold. Now, he’s turning his focus to recovery, and hopes to get back into training to make a return by Super Bowl weekend.

The Dagestani competitor is 22-0 in his MMA career, a run which includes six straight wins in the Octagon, capped off with a win over the division’s current champion, Rafael dos Anjos, in April of 2014. That was his last appearance, with numerous knee injuries and now a rib injury derailing several scheduled bouts.

Penick’s Analysis: This is the right move for him. I don’t think anyone actually believed he’d fully walk away, and it seemed more due to a dejected sense of frustration over the injuries he’s suffered. That he believes he can return by Super Bowl weekend is encouraging, and hopefully that winds up coming to fruition. Regardless, it’s good that he’s in the mindset to return, and hopefully we see whether he can be as dominant back in action as he was prior to the injury issues he’s had.

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