Khabib Nurmagomedov will stay retired despite speculation he will return to the Octagon.
UFC President Dana White announced Khabib's decision on Twitter Thursday:
White also told ESPN's Brett Okamoto that Michael Chandler and Charles Oliveira will now square off for the lightweight title at UFC 262 on May 15.
The 32-year-old had initially announced his retirement at UFC 254 in October 2020:
He stepped away from the sport after defeating Justin Gaethje by submission, his third straight defense of the lightweight title after also stopping both Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier. He initially won the belt by defeating Al Iaquinta in 2018 and never slowed down, eventually becoming the top pound-for-pound fighter in the UFC rankings.
"I have achieved almost everything in this sport, and there isn't someone I would like to fight now," Nurmagomedov told Sport24 with regard to his retirement.
His father and trainer, Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov, also died three months before his son's retirement because of complications related to COVID-19.
There was little indication Khabib would return to MMA, especially after McGregor was upset by Poirier at UFC 257.
"I did talk to Khabib. And he said to me, 'Dana, be honest with yourself. I'm so many levels above these guys. I beat these guys,'" White told reporters after UFC 257. "I don't know. But it doesn't sound very positive. We'll see."
White hasn't been able to convince the champion to come back, though, and the lightweight division will have to move on with a new champion.
With a 29-0 record, Nurmagomedov will go down as one of the top fighters in UFC history.