Khabib Nurmagomedov celebrates following his UFC 223 victory.

Khabib Nurmagomedov celebrates following his UFC 223 victory. Photo from BBC.co.uk

Khabib Nurmagomedov officially retired; Michael Chandler to fight Charles Oliveira for vacant title at UFC 262

Khabib Nurmagomedov is officially retired and now the lightweight division will move on without him.

UFC president Dana White told ESPN that he and Nurmagomedov met in Las Vegas, and the undefeated lightweight champion reiterated he does not intend to fight again.

“Khabib is retired and doesn’t wanna hold up the division,” White told ESPN, via text message. “Tonight was our final meeting and he is retired.”

Nurmagomedov announced his retirement after his win over Justin Gaethje at UFC 254. While Nurmagomedov hung it up that night, White repeatedly tried to convince him not too. Despite White’s best efforts, Nurmagomedov will not make another walk to the octagon and retires with a perfect 29-0 record which includes a lightweight championship and three title defenses over Conor McGregor, Dustin Poirier and Gaethje.

Khabib Nurmagomedov
Khabib Nurmagomedov cries in the center of the octagon after defeating Justin Gaethje at UFC 254. Nurmagomedov retired after the fight.

As a result of the retirement, the 155 pound title is officially vacant, but it won’t be that way for long.

White also told ESPN that Michael Chandler and Charles Oliveira will fight for the title at UFC 262 on May 15.

Chandler (22-5) is a former three-time Bellator lightweight champion. He signed with the UFC in 2020 and made his debut with the promotion at UFC 257 in which he secured a first-round knockout victory over Dan Hooker in the co-main event. Chandler is currently on a three-fight winning streak and is 6-1 in his last seven outings.

Oliveira (30-8) has been on a roll since moving up to 155 pounds in 2017. Since the move, he is 9-1 with he is currently on an  eight-fight winning streak. Most recently, he dominated former interim champion Tony Ferguson at UFC 256. His lone loss at lightweight came against Paul Felder at UFC 218.

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