Khabib Nurmagomedov wants to return to action early next year. | Jeff Sherwood/Sherdog.com
Khabib Nurmagomedov isn’t ready to call it quits just yet.
Approximately two weeks after Nurmagomedov expressed serious doubts about ever returning to MMA, it seems that “The Eagle has had a change of heart. According to a report from UFC Tonight, Nurmagomedov has decided against retirement and is hoping to make his Octagon return at UFC 196.
Nurmagomedov recently had to withdraw from a proposed clash with Tony Ferguson at “The Ultimate Fighter 22” finale after suffering a broken rib. The Dagestani lightweight has not fought since a victory over current 155-pound king Rafael dos Anjos in April 2014. In addition to the rib injury, Nurmagomedov has been sidelined by knee injuries since the triumph over dos Anjos.
UFC 196, the promotion’s traditional Super Bowl weekend card, takes place on Feb. 6 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The event does not yet have a headliner, although the UFC is reportedly considering moving the heavyweight title rematch between Fabricio Werdum and Cain Velasquez to the top of the card.