Despite the fact that Khabib Nurmagomedov announced his retirement in October 2020, over the next eight months, the Russian fighter continued to undergo drug tests and was close to resuming his professional career.
This was announced in an interview with Grosvenor Sports by the trainer of the former UFC lightweight champion, Javier Mendez.
“Dana White didn’t remove Khabib from the testing pool after his retirement because he still hoped Khabib would fight,” the American specialist said. “When Khabib got tired of the checks, he told the UFC management that he no longer wanted to pass the checks and was not going to return. He was regularly tested for another eight months before he decided he had had enough.”
“The UFC wanted him to come back and he was close to it. You saw it when we were in Abu Dhabi. He said, ‘If someone shows me something exciting, then maybe I’ll come back.’ That evening, the fight between Conor and Poirier took place, but Khabib was not impressed. He said that if someone in this card impressed him, he would think, but this did not happen. The UFC wanted it, but since no one was interested in it, it didn’t happen.”
Judging by the words of Mendes, the undefeated Russian fighter was tested for doping before the third fight between Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier, in which the Irishman suffered a severe leg fracture.
Recall that Khabib Nurmagomedov announced his retirement after he successfully unified the current and interim UFC lightweight titles at UFC 254 in Abu Dhabi, finishing with a triangle choke in the second round of American Justin Gaethje.