Daniel Cormier on Khabib Nurmagomedov’s retirement: “I just take my buddy at his word”

Khabib Nurmagomedov, Daniel Cormier

Former two-division UFC champion Daniel Cormier isn’t sure what the future holds for his long-time friend and training partner, UFC lightweight champ Khabib Nurmagomedov. That being said, he’s taking the champ’s retirement announcement seriously.

Nurmagomedov announced his retirement after an October defeat of Justin Gaethje.

“This was my last fight,” a visibly emotional Nurmagomedov said in his post-fight interview, while Cormier looked on from the cage-side commentary desk. “Today’s my last fight in the UFC.”

Despite that announcement, Nurmagomedov has not yet vacated the lightweight title, ostensibly because UFC President Dana White is hoping he’ll fight again.

Cormier recognizes that the UFC and the majority of fans are hoping Nurmagomedov will reconsider his retirement plans, but he’s taking his friend’s announcement at face value.

“It makes it very difficult when I have to answer these questions because you know why the UFC wants him back – you should, everybody wants him back,” Cormier told SCMP MMA recently.

“But the reality is I just take my buddy at his word,” Cormier added. “If he says he’s not fighting, then he’s not fighting. If he says he’s coming back, then he’s coming back.”

While Cormier only wants what’s best for Nurmagomedov, he concedes that he would love to see his friend back in the Octagon.

“I just care about Khabib the person,” Cormier said. “I don’t really care if he’s fighting or not fighting, you know. Of course I would love for him to fight, it’s always fun to watch him prepare and compete.

“It would be great for the UFC if he did compete again, but if he doesn’t, I still love the guy as much as I do when he’s an active competitor.”

Daniel Cormier retired just a few months before Khabib Nurmagomedov, after coming up short in a heavyweight championship trilogy fight with Stipe Miocic.

This article appeared first on BJPENN.COM