Dana White will only convince Khabib Nurmagomedov to come back if he ‘taps into competitive spirit’ rather than throws money at UFC pound-for-pound king, warns Daniel Cormier
- Daniel Cormier is close friends with Khabib Nurmagomedov and from same team
- Russian emotionally retired following his win over Justin Gaethje in October
- Dana White believes he can convince Russian to come back and compete
- Cormier thinks it will not be about money but ‘something that taps into his spirit’
Khabib Nurmagomedov will not be convinced to reverse his UFC retirement for any amount of money but may still return, claims Daniel Cormier.
Cormier, who is close friends and team-mates with Khabib, knows the Russian well and believes financial gain will be the last thing on his mind if he chooses to come back.
UFC president Dana White recently said he was ‘confident’ in his ability to persuade the pound-for-pound king to fight again and Cormier had some advice in strategising how to pull it off.
Khabib Nurmagomedov retired following his emotional victory over Justin Gaethje
Daniel Cormier (right) says his close friend is not motivated by money any more
‘I asked Khabib once, I said “How much money would it take for me to be rich in Dagestan?”‘
‘He said, “five million dollars and you’re rich for the rest of your life”. Khabib has much more than five million dollars. So I don’t know how much the money is going to be the thing that draws him back to the octagon,’ he added to Laura Sanko.
Instead, Khabib must be motivated by a competitive challenge as a mixed martial artist, claims the retired heavyweight.
He continued: ‘Dana’s going to have to tap into something within his spirit to try to get him to fight again.
Khabib will come come back for something that taps into his competitive spirit, says Cormier
‘He makes so much money outside of the Octagon at this point, that it would have to be something that would drive him competitively to come back and fight, because I don’t think it’s going to be money that makes him go back to the octagon.’
Khabib looked sensational in beating Gaethje in Abu Dhabi with a second-round submission and came into the fight having recently suffered a broken foot.
Recent footage showed how depleted he had become during the weight cut and he seemed adamant he was retiring when he announced it in the post-fight interview.
Khabib said he had promised his mother he would no longer fight without late father Abdulmanap, who died following complications after coronavirus, there to guide him.
Dana White previously stated that he was confident in is ability to convince Khabib to return
In terms of the lightweight landscape, there was no obvious challenge for Khabib to be motivated for.
The manner in which he dominated Gaethje, along with wins over Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier meant that nobody leapt out as an obvious next contender.
Khabib’s father’s dream was for his son to reach 30-0, so there is a chance he’ll be motivated to fulfil that ambition at some point.
White plans to meet the Dagestani early in 2021 to discuss plans and fans will eagerly be anticipating any news of a comeback.