“I thought when I lost the last fight, I was never getting the five stars,” Cormier laughed, referencing his last fight against Stipe Miocic.
After the smiles and handshakes were shared, Nurmagomedov stayed on set to chat about his recently confirmed retirement.
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His dinners and meetings with UFC president Dana White were subject of much rumor and buzz about whether White could persuade Nurmagomedov into another fight.
“It’s very hard to say no to Dana White,” Nurmagomedov said. “I’m going to be very honest because this guy, sometimes he is nice. Sometimes he is not nice. Sometimes he says one thing. Anyways, it was very honest, real talk with two real men. This is what I feel. In the last meeting, he come and say, ‘Hey, what are we going to do?’ I say, ‘Nothing changed. Nothing changed.’ I think, my opinion, lightweight division has to go on. I don’t want to hold (the) division.”
With the lightweight belt vacated, Michael Chandler and Charles Oliveira are scheduled to compete for it at UFC 262 in Houston.
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Nurmagomedov, meanwhile, plans to take on a coaching role like his late father, Abdulmanap.
Nurmagomedov has done well so far, helping Umar Nurmagomedov, Abubakar Nurmagomedov and Islam Makhachev to victories in 2021. He said he intends to assist Javier Mendes, the head coach at American Kickboxing Academy, and hopes to share his knowledge with the “young lions” in the gym.
“I have so many close people who helped me become champion and become a big star, and now, they keep (competing),” Nurmagomedov said.” That’s why I’m here, to help these guys. Stay around them, give them good energy, control their training camp. This is big motivation for me now.”