Two legends could collide in a cross-codes battle following the news that Khabib Nurmagomedov is free of his UFC contract. All this is good news for Manny Pacquiao.
Khabib, should he decide to fight again, can do as he pleases. That includes moving over to boxing for a mega-match with the Filipino senator.
Pacquiao is readying himself for a return to action, possibly against Mikey Garcia this July. If Khabib is present on the night, that could tell fans a lot about their intentions.
On Thursday, the shock news broke that Khabib told UFC boss, Dana White of his intentions, to retire despite them meeting initially to talk about his next move.
In a twist of fate, Khabib informed White he would retire from MMA.
Releasing a statement on how it went down, Khabib said: “It was a good dinner with some great people.
“Dana White, thank you so much, brother and the entire UFC team, for the opportunity to prove myself. You guys have changed my life forever because of this sport.
“Dana, I’ll never forget your attitude towards me. My father did not forget, and my sons will remember you.
“Today, there was a real conversation between real men.
“Also, thank you to all team, sparring partners, and all fans. I hope you will accept my decision and understand.”
KHABIB NURMAGOMEDOV RETIRED
The news comes after Khabib lost his dad Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov during the pandemic last July.
White aired his thoughts on the decision around the same time.
“29-0 it is,” he confirmed. “He is one hundred percent officially retired.
“It was incredible to watch you work, Khabib. Thank you for everything, and enjoy whatever is next, my friend.”
Conor McGregor’s knockout loss before a reported battle with Pacquiao has opened the door for Khabib at some point soon.
If an offer gets made, it’ll be interesting to see if the UFC legend looks into getting in the boxing ring for at least one fight.
Floyd Mayweather will surely be looking at Khabib’s situation too.
PRESIDENT MANNY PACQUIAO
Meanwhile, Manny Pacquiao has taken a step closer to becoming the Philippines President when he steps away from competing.
Fellow Filipino senator Panfilo Lacson revealed talks with Pacquiao this week.
“Two or three times, he approached me and sat beside me. He said, ‘Perhaps we can talk,'” Lacson told ABS-CBN.
“Because he has plans. Perhaps he can be aided, especially on the budget, stuff like that.
“He said it, and he’s pretty open about (running for president). However, he does not want to talk about it because of COVID.
“In fairness to him, he is consistent that we should prioritize COVID, not politics at the moment,” he concluded.
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