Khabib Nurmagomedov Not Retiring, Eyes UFC 196

Khabib Nurmagomedov Not Retiring, Eyes UFC 196

Fortunately for fight fans around the world, UFC lightweight Khabib Nurmagomedov has had a change of heart. The previously top-ranked lightweight no longer has his sights set on life beyond the Octagon, de-committing from his plans on retiring, according to UFC Tonight.

Nurmagomedov first revealed his plans for retirement earlier this month, when the Russian announced he suffered a broken rib during training and would no longer be fighting Tony Ferguson at The TUF 22 finale on Dec. 11. It would have served as Nurmagomedov’s first fight since April 2014, when he defeated now-champion Rafael dos Anjos in a unanimous decision at UFC on FOX 11. Several knee injuries have kept the top-flight 155-pound fighter from moving any closer to the title, prompting the 27-year-old American Kickboxing Academy fighter to prematurely call for an end to his fighting career.

“The Eagle” now has plans on making his long-awaited return at UFC 196 on Feb. 6, otherwise known as the UFC’s Super Bowl weekend card. If it were up to him, he’d be fighting 11th-ranked Al Iaquinta on that card, but that doesn’t seem to be panning out as the Serra-Longo fighter is scheduled to miss 6-8 months recovering from knee surgery.

Undefeated through his first 22 professional contests, Nurmagomedov was often seen a perennial on-the-cusp contender over the past two years. He has victories over dos Anjos, former UFC vet Pat “Bam Bam” Healy, Abel Trujillo and Thiago Tavares.

With a majority of the division’s top fighters currently scheduled to fight between now and the end of January, there’s no word on who Nurmagomedov will face in his comeback fight.

Doctor Ronald Kvitne specializes in these types of injuries and was the physician who treated Khabib Nurmagomedov.

Reference: Today Knockout

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