Khabib Nurmagomedov will come out of retirement to face Manchester United skipper Harry Maguire, it has been revealed.
The Russian announced his decision to retire from fighting after defeating Justin Gaethje at UFC 254 to extend his perfect professional record to 29-0-0.
It is thought Khabib’s decision to quit was partially driven by the lack of what he deemed to be a worthy opponent.
However, after watching Harry Maguire’s impressive headlock technique on Cesar Azpilicueta during Manchester United’s Premier League clash with Chelsea, Nurmagomedov made a dramatic U-turn.
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‘After a lot of soul searching and a £10 million purse offer from Dana White, I’ve decided to have one final fight’, the 32-year-old told Paddy Power News.
‘If Harry Maguire is man enough to face me in the octagon, I will put my UFC lightweight title on the line’, he added.
Khabib admits he was in awe of Maguire’s chokeslam on Azpilicueta and believes the Sheffield-born centre-back would be a worthy adversary.
‘Harry’s style of grappling is not dissimilar to my own. The way he wrestled Azpilicueta to the floor was impressive. Though I’m disappointed he didn’t finish the Spaniard with a triangle choke submission. Just saying’.
Meanwhile, Maguire has indicated he would be open to fighting Nurmagomedov if permitted to do by Manchester United.
‘I’ve spoken to the club and I’m waiting to hear their decision. Unlike Azpilicueta’s throat on Saturday night, it’s out of my hands really’, the 27-year-old said.
Asked whether he was afraid to get inside the octagon with someone whose training includes wrestling bears, Maguire replied: ‘That’s nothing. I wrestle Phil Jones in training every day’.
In other news, Conor McGregor came out of retirement this morning just so he could retire again.
Announcing his 8th retirement of the year so far, the 32-year-old tweeted: ‘I woke up this morning and noticed there wasn’t a single feckin’ story about me in the news. It was all about that chump Nurmagomedov’.
‘So, in my latest bid to keep myself relevant, I’ve decided to come out of retirement so that I can announce I’m retiring. Again’.
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