UFC president Dana White confirmed that he plans on meeting UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov the week of UFC 257 in Abu Dhabi.
UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov after announcing his retirement at UFC 254 has now hinted that he might consider returning to the octagon. In his post-fight interview with UFC commentator Jon Anik, the undefeated Russian explained that he’d promised his mother his fight with Gaethje would be his last, citing the death of his father and mentor Abdulmanap as the reason.
“This was my last fight,” a visibly emotional Khabib said.
“I promised [my mother], it’s going to be my last fight,” Nurmagomedov added. “It was my last fight here. Tuesday, you guys have to put me No. 1 pound-for-pound because I deserve this.”
“Today’s my last fight in the UFC.”
Ever since Khabib Nurmagomedov retired from the UFC, there have been various theories on if he would make a comeback. Dana White has always been positive about a comeback from the lightweight champ. While Khabib dismissed those speculations last week, he seems to have changed his stand on social media.
— khabib nurmagomedov (@TeamKhabib) November 24, 2020
Indeed, White has said that he believes Nurmagomedov will step into the Octagon one last time to go 30-0 in his professional MMA career. White has been saying for a couple of weeks now that he plans on meeting up with Nurmagomedov shortly to discuss his current position as far as retirement goes.
Speaking to media following UFC 256, White confirmed that he plans on meeting with the Russian in Abu Dhabi in January during the week of UFC 257, which features a main event between Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier. The winner of that fight could become the next title challenger for Nurmagomedov if he returns.
Dana White Talks about meeting Khabib
— MMAFighting.com (@MMAFighting) December 13, 2020
In an interview with TMZ, White said he is planning to speak with the UFC lightweight champion in January about a potential return to the Octagon:
“The truth is, he has not committed to anything. What he has committed to is meeting with me next month. He and I are going to sit down, we’re going to meet next month. We’re going to find out phow] persuasive I can be … I’ll bet on me every time.”
White is one of many who have doubted Nurmagomedov’s retirement at age 32 as permanent. It took less than a week after the Russian’s announcement for White to start publicly speculating about a return, and even seemed to hint at a return fight involving Georges St-Pierre.
White’s UFC hasn’t even treated Nurmagomedov as retired. The promotion’s official rankings still have him atop the pound-for-pound and lightweight rankings. White also went out of his way to declare January’s bout between Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier as a non-title fight, claiming he believes the champ will return.
Do you think Khabib Nurmagomedov will come back from his retirement?
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