The wait is almost over.
The nine-month suspension of the lightweight king Khabib Nurmagomedov will finally expire next month, and we won't have to wait long to see him back inside the Octagon.
Last week it was confirmed that Nurmagomedov will compete for the first time in 11 months when he bids to unify the 155 pound division against interim champion Dustin Poirier in Abu Dhabi on September 7.
'Diamond' Poirier defeated Max Holloway back in April to become the temporary champion during Khabib's suspension, but he will go toe-to-toe with a fearsome undefeated grappler in the Middle East in less than three months time.
This week it was also announced that Nurmagomedov had signed a new deal with the UFC, with his manager Ali Abdelaziz describing him as now the 'highest-paid athlete in the UFC'.
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We have to assume that Abdelaziz means currently as Conor McGregor probably isn't tied-up to any deal at this moment, but 'The Eagle' certainly seems pleased at how negotiations went.
Terms included the shorter suspensions of his team-mates Zubaira Tukhugov and Khabib's brother Abubakar following their involvement in the UFC 229 brawl.
And there is apparently a clause in the new deal that involves MMA legend Georges St-Pierre - the now-retired Canadian lobbied to fight Khabib and the Russian wanted it too but Dana White wouldn't budge, however the reported clause means it could very well happen in the future.
Despite the fight with Poirier coming up and GSP very much in his thoughts, it seems that Conor McGregor has still not left his mind after demolishing the Irishman eight months ago.
"We have not finished yet what was on October 6," Khabib told his YouTube channel, per MMA Fighting.
"We still have a lot of fights, so we plan to write more history and show that we are here. Being high in the mountains, we can reach certain heights and successes."
Cryptic indeed, but if Nurmagomedov does walk out of Abu Dhabi as the unified Lightweight Champion, McGregor should not just walk back into a title shot, regardless of how much money it would make the UFC.
Tony Ferguson in the minds of many will be the number-one contender, but an elimination bout of-sorts between 'El Cucuy' and McGregor would be an attractive proposition to see who gets first crack at Khabib should he be victorious.
With the soundbites coming out of Camp Khabib it seems inevitable that Nurmagomedov - McGregor 2 will happen - we just don't know when.News Now - Sport News