Khabib Nurmagomedov, seemingly the best mixed martial artist ever, is authoritatively retired, and even UFC president Dana White is prepared to proceed onward.
White told ESPN on Thursday that he and Nurmagomedov met in Las Vegas, and the undefeated lightweight champion reiterated he doesn’t mean to battle once more. Thus, the UFC is finishing a lightweight title battle between Michael Chandler and Charles Oliveira for UFC 262 on May 15, as indicated by White.
“Khabib is retired and doesn’t wanna hold up the division,” White told ESPN, via text message. “Tonight was our final meeting and he is retired.”
Nurmagomedov (29-0) declared his retirement from MMA in October, however White more than once said he held out trust the Dagestani champion would battle once more. Nurmagomedov shielded the lightweight championship three times, against Justin Gaethje, Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor.
Looking forward, Chandler (22-5) is a previous three-time Bellator MMA lightweight champion. He signed with the UFC in 2020 and made his promotional debut in January against Dan Hooker at UFC 257 on Fight Island. He scored a first-round knockout in 2:30.
Battling out of Sanford MMA in South Florida, Chandler is 6-1 in his previous seven contests.
Oliveira (30-8) is right now on an eight-battle win streak, including a dominant decision over previous break champion Tony Ferguson at UFC 256 in December. The 31-year-old has been on a tear since moving up from featherweight in 2017, with a record of 9-1. He has completed eight of those nine successes at 155 pounds.