Lightweight GOAT Khabib Nurmagomedov recently retired at the age of 32, with no signs whatsoever of diminished ability. Ronda Rousey, once the best-known figure in MMA history, retired at the age of 31; she wasn't getting worse, but the sport was getting better. Miesha Tate recently announced her return to the Octagon at the age of 34.
At Thursday's UFC 260 pre-fight press conference, UFC president was asked several times about retirement, and offered his understanding of why fighters come back or don't.
“I think it’s for money, and Khabib isn’t going to need any money any time soon,” said White. “So, in the last dinner that we just had, I feel like he’s done. He feels like his fighting was a lot of pressure on his parents, and then what just went down with his dad, and now he’s looking at his mom saying, ‘I just can’t do this to my mother.’”
White was not implying the Tate was broke. Indeed, she was undoubtedly well compensated as a Vice President for ONE Championship, but appears to have given that up to return to the UFC.
“I honestly don’t know what her reason is, but when she left, women are kind of different when they retire,” said White. “She went out and started a family, and I told her ... and I haven’t talked to her face-to-face about this, but I told her after the last fight, she got her nose fixed, and I told her not to fix her nose. When you’re done fighting, I’ll fix your nose. We’ll get your nose taken care of, you go to the best guy in LA and get your nose done.
“She did it, and then she fought Amanda Nunes. And you’ll see in that fight, Amanda punches her right in the nose, and you saw her fold. I saw it happen right there, the night of the fight. So she went and had a family. She’s had five years now. I guarantee her nose is a lot better. It will be interesting to see how she does. I think she’s going to do well.”
White also said he spoke with Ronda Rousey on Wednesday.
“Don’t even f***ing start, you guys,” said White. “Yesterday about lots of different things, not this. Absolutely, positively not coming back, ever.”