UFC news: Dana White plans to convince Khabib Nurmagomedov to come out of retirement

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UFC president Dana White has revealed that he will meet Khabib Nurmagomedov next month in Abu Dhabi to attempt to convince him to return to the sport.

Khabib retired in October immediately after defeating Justin Gaethje at UFC 252, and stated that he did not want to fight anymore without his late father in his corner.

However, since the announcement that the upcoming fight between Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier will not be for Khabib’s vacant lightweight title, speculation is abound that the Russian fighter may be tempted back to the sport.

A return could see him take on the winner of the McGregor-Poirier fight, which would surely be one of the biggest money events in the sport’s history.

The need for that fight could be amplified by the Covid-19 pandemic, in which the UFC, like other sports, has struggled for live gate revenue.

White explained: “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.

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“We’re going to find out how persuasive I can be – I’ll bet on me every time.”

Khabib has recorded victories over both McGregor and Poirier before, both by submission.

The success over McGregor in October 2018 was the Irishman’s last fight for over a year before he returned to defeat Donald Cerrone inside one round in January.

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That was partially due to scenes that broke out after the fight, in which McGregor received a six-month ban from the sport and a fine of $50,000. Khabib himself received a lengthier nine-month ban for his role in the events.

If a fight between the winner of McGregor-Poirier does not happen, it is rumoured that a fight against Georges St-Pierre could be of interest to Khabib.

St-Pierre, who turned 39 in May, has fought only once in seven years after serious injury and health problems, but is reportedly keen to agree a deal if the opportunity arose.

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