San Francisco is famous for its Alcatraz Island prison so it was perhaps fitting that retired UFC champion Khabib Nurmagomedov was in the city as he compared the life of an active fighter to being in the confines of a jail.
Sharing an image of himself on the San Francisco streets with his 27.6 million following on Instagram, the UFC lightweight king wrote (in Russian): “Since 2012, I’ve dreamed of coming to this city (SF) without preparing for a fight and without any diet, just taking a walk and enjoying good food.
“Seriously, it turns out like it was being in prison. Alhamdulillah [praise be to God], how good it is not to be an active athlete.”
The message is the latest signal that Khabib is enjoying life in retirement far too much for him to have any lingering doubts over his announcement last October that he was ending his career at the age of 32 and undefeated at 29-0 inside the cage.
Since then UFC boss Dana White has repeatedly attempted to entice ‘The Eagle’ to reverse that decision, saying as recently as last week that Khabib – who is still technically the 155lbs champ – was “not holding up the division.”
Last month, White said he remained convinced that Khabib would return if the right challenge emerges.
“Khabib can say whatever he wants. I believe if this thing plays out, and the right guy, however the fights happen, he’ll fight him. I truly believe that,” the UFC chief said.
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Khabib, meanwhile, has reiterated that he is committed to his numerous business interests as well as pushing through a stable of MMA talent from Dagestan which was mentored by his late father Abdulmanap.
That includes cousins Umar and Usman Nurmagomedov – who are signed to the UFC and Bellator respectively – as well as friend and teammate Islam Makhachev.
Khabib was in Makhachev’s corner when he returned to the octagon at UFC 259 in Las Vegas earlier this month, producing a grappling masterclass to defeat American Drew Dober and record a seventh win on the spin.
Khabib has asserted that Makhachev, 29, will ultimately be the man to ascend to the lightweight throne he abdicated after submitting Justin Gaethje at UFC 254 in October.
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