A post on social media has people wondering if former UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov is eyeing a UFC return.
Nurmagomedov (29-0) went 13-0 in his UFC career including three defenses of the UFC lightweight championship he earned by defeating Al Iaquinta at UFC 223. After finishing Conor McGregor, Dustin Poirier and Justin Gaethje in a two-year span, Nurmagomedov shockingly called it quits, announcing his retirement during a post-fight interview at UFC 254.
Since that announcement on Oct. 24, 2020, Nurmagomedov has stuck to his guns, but a cryptic message on Instagram has people wondering if ‘The Eagle’ is considering a trip back to the Octagon.
In the post, a picture of Khabib kneeling in a cage with the UFC logo prominently placed was accompanied by the eyes emoji which is regularly used to draw attention to something the user wants to highlight.
The post immediately got fans talking about a potential comeback, racking up over 465,000 likes in 24 hours.
Plenty of Options For Khabib Nurmagomedov
With an absolutely loaded lightweight division, there are multiple match-ups that are sure to excite fans. Should current champion Charles Oliveira get past Justin Gaethje at UFC 274, ‘The Eagle’ could be waiting in the wings to come back and challenge ‘Do Bronx’ for the gold he left behind.
Then there is the potential for the biggest rematch in UFC history; Khabib vs. McGregor 2.
Their first bout at UFC 229 is the highest selling UFC pay-per-view in company history earning 2.4 million buys and $180 million in revenue. There is no doubt Dana White and the UFC would jump at the opportunity to make that rematch happen in 2022. The company would rake in the money while Khabib and McGregor would likely pocket tens of millions apiece for their services.
At UFC 272, Khabib was announced as the first inductee of the UFC Hall of Fame class of 2022.
It’s possible that the post was not intended to be cryptic. Or perhaps Khabib Nurmagomedov and company are simply gauging interest. If that’s the case, it’s safe to say that they have our attention.
Follow me on Twitter at @SuperbeastCraig to see my latest work. Follow us on social media at @OTHeroicsMMA to stay up to date with all things MMA!
Featured image credit to Embed from Getty Images