Khabib Nurmagomedov insists he has no immediate plans to return to the octagon – despite handing Conor McGregor an ultimatum.
The UFC lightweight champion last weekend told president Dana White that he would come out of retirement if he was sufficiently impressed with McGregor – or Dustin Poirier – this weekend.
But the 32-year-old now looks set to deprive the Irishman of a chance to avenge his defeat in 2018.
“There must be some motivation, some hunger,” Nurmagomedov told Sport24 in Russia. “'’ve been in sports for so many years. I've been doing it all my life, I have achieved almost everything in this sport and there isn't someone who I would like to fight now.
“I know that there are many fighters who would like to earn money, who strive for something. What should I do? A lot of people don’t want to understand my side.
“I train for myself. The biggest thing that gives me pleasure is training; I enjoy when I wrestle, run, spar, work on pads, when I work on the punch bags.
"This is what I have been doing all my life, and I will continue to train constantly, as well but if we talk about the fights, they are not a part of my plans.
“They constantly discuss, ‘He will come back, he will not come back'. You know, today we have 2021. A year ago it was 2020. The same time, January, and so much has happened. We don’t know what will happen in 2022, 2023, you know, so let’s not talk about it. No one knows what will happen tomorrow.
“I don’t even have any plans for the UFC in the near future. I don’t have any thoughts about preparing for a fight."
Nurmagomedov is due to hold further talks with White in Las Vegas next week and has previously said he won't hold up the division by clinging on to hs title.
But his non-decision over his future means McGregor will take on Poirier while the 155lb champion sits idle.
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