KARACHI: UFC legend Khabib Nurmagomedov said his “flame has gone out” for the MMA.
In 2020, Nurmagomedov, regarded as one of the sport’s most dominant fighters ever, left the UFC as the unbeaten champion.
As part of his ongoing efforts to develop the next generation, the Russian superstar has been preparing his protégé Islam Makhachev for this weekend’s UFC 280 title fight against Charles Oliveira at the Etihad Arena.
And despite rumours that he might face the Brazilian in the future if he defeats his compatriot, Nurmagomedov has emphasised that it is doubtful that he will do so.
“Maybe it is because the flame inside of me went out,” Khabib told UFC Russia when asked if MMA had declined since his retirement. “But I do think there has been a dip in MMA and there has certainly been a decline recently but that is my viewpoint and everyone has their different opinions.
“I think the flame went out a little and there was a decline. The UFC’s PR machine is strong and there will always be stars. Say what you will but they have created a powerful machine in the last 30 years but I don’t wake up early to watch fights anymore. Other than for Kamaru Usman I don’t wake up for fights.”
After defeating Justin Gaethje in the UFC in 2020, Khabib announced his retirement from the sport. It now seems doubtful that he will compete again given his development into an MMA instructor and promoter.