Khabib Nurmagomedov isn’t sure what will motivate him to fight beyond UFC 254.
Nurmagomedov (28-0 MMA, 12-0 UFC) will make his return on Oct. 24, taking on Justin Gaethje at Flash Forum on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi.
Khabib is not overlooking Gaethje (22-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC), the UFC lightweight champion discussed his long-term plans when asked.
“It’s a very good question, honestly – a very good question,” Nurmagomedov said when asked about future motivating factors. “I don’t know. I don’t know. You know, for example, I’m going to finish Justin Gaethje inside the cage Oct. 24 but what else? This is a very good question. We’ll see. You know, I love competition. I love competing with the best fighters in the world. That’s why I’m here. I’m not in the UFC to make money. I have a lot of business projects outside the UFC. I can make money. It’s a good question – very good question.”
Nurmagomedov, 32, has made his long-term intentions known in the past. He plans on retiring while he’s on top.
“I don’t think (I’ll retire),” Nurmagomedov said. “We have a couple of options. We’re going to think about this after this fight. Dana told me, after this fight, he has something special for me. I told him, ‘Please keep this (to yourself). After the fight, we’re going to talk.’ They said, ‘We have very big things after this fight for you.’ We’ll see.”
UFC 254 takes place Saturday, Oct. 24 at Flash Forum on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi. The main card streams on ESPN+ pay-per-view after prelims on ESPN/ESPN+.