UFC’s legendary ring announcer Bruce Buffer has predicted that lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov will make a comeback to the top-tier MMA promotion.
Nurmagomedov, 32, rose to the top of the lightweight rankings and claimed the division’s belt over Al Iquinta all the way back in 2018.
After successfully defending his title on three separate occasions, the pound-for-pound star shocked the MMA world after he announced he was retiring from competitive action.
The 32-year-old’s most recent title defence came against Justin ‘The Highlight’ Gaethje in a performance that was a typical Nurmagomedov masterpiece.
During the build-up to Nurmagomedov’s bout against Gaethje, it was well-documented that the Dagestan wrestler had suffered a number of setbacks; the most notable being the death of his father.
Nurmagomedov declared he would not compete without his father in his corner, however, despite his emotional declaration, there are continued suggestions that the champion will make a u-turn.
Speaking in a recent interview with RT, the latest big name in MMA to come out and predict a future comeback, is legend octagon announcer Buffer.
Buffer, 63, recently celebrated his 25th UFC anniversary and if anybody knows the mindset of some of the sport’s biggest stars, it’s Brucey!
When asked for his thoughts on Nurmagomedov’s retirement, the 63-year-old great said: “Khabib’s a man of honor.
“I like Khabib a lot. We get along really well, I liked his dad a lot.
“Khabib is the type of fighter who needs to be lifted. He needs an opponent that’s going to lift him, that’s going to make him want to go train and do what he does and go do the Rocky V mountain snow climbs and everything else while music is playing in his ears.
“I do think that Khabib will come back,” he said. “There’s a reason why he was at the point where he was at.
“There’s a lot going on in his life, you know? You make decisions that are emotional at the time, and you sit back and you make a more relatively thoughtful decision later on, if you analyse everything. We all have a right to change our minds.”
Buffer went onto draw comparisons between Nurmagomedov and fighting legend Georges St-Pierre.
“Khabib has got to be worth tens of millions of dollars by now,” Buffer said. “So you need motivation. Are they as hungry as they used to be? Probably not. Are they fighters, as they always were at heart? Yes they are.
“[It’s a case of] ‘give me the motivation so that the fighter comes out and I can do what I am supposed to do and be who I am – Khabib Nurmagomedov.’
“That’s what I think it is with Khabib, he needs that challenge. He needs to step up to a challenge to give him that eye of the tiger feeling.”