UFC president Dana White has once more reiterated his claims that the now-retired Khabib Nurmagomedov is not done yet, as he expects him to come back out of retirement to defend his lightweight strap.
The American made clear that he still sees the 32-year-old Russian as the king of the lightweight division, after confirmation that Conor McGregor’s rematch with Dustin Poirier won’t be a title fight.
Khabib's supposed willingness to step back into the Octagon has been questioned ever since his submission victory over Justin Gaethje last month, which stretched his record to an impressive 29-0-0.
It was his first fight without his beloved father Abdulmanap by his side, who passed away this summer aged 57 from coronavirus-related complications, his son’s intentions laid bare as he insisted he couldn’t maintain his fighting career without his influential mentor.
On a potential Khabib return, White said: “I told you guys that I think he’s gonna go to [30-0]. If he’s still testing, why the hell would you want to test if you’re not gonna fight?”
The hypothesis of the 51-year-old UFC chief may actually hold some weight, as he revealed the Russian is still engaging in drug testing, even after hanging up his gloves.
Commenting further on the matter, White told the press: ”He hasn’t committed, but I feel like he’s gonna. I’m not really pushing him. We talked about it and he just fought. Let him take some time, spend some time with his family, spend the holidays. There’s no rush.”
Moving briefly away from Khabib, White also touched on another interesting development in the 155-pound division, revealing the Irishman Conor McGregor is negotiating a return with a rematch bout with Dustin Poirier on the cards, after 'The Notorious' claimed victory in their first clash all the way back in 2014.
White refuted speculation that the fight could crown a new lightweight champion, further adding: “No, [it won’t be for the title]. Khabib’s gonna fight (again). I believe he’s gonna fight. It’s not for the title.”News Now - Sport News