All eyes in the mixed martial arts world are currently poised on next Saturday’s UFC 257 and the return of Conor McGregor, after his absence from the Octagon will have spanned to over a year since his last fight.
What you might not have known, however, is that earlier in the UFC 257 fight card, Khabib Nurmagomedov’s younger cousin Umar was meant to make his UFC debut against Sergey Morozov.
Which, of course, means that Khabib was planning on being in attendance next Saturday at the Emirates Arena.
It would seem that the UFC are taking no chances in McGregor and Khabib clashing again, according to the Mirror, as they have now moved Umar’s fight to UFC Fight Night: Chiesa vs Magny, which is three days earlier than UFC 257.
The fire that burns in the rivalry between McGregor and Khabib is still very much lit to this day. UFC fans have been clamouring for a second fight between the pair ever since the aftermath of their fight at UFC 229 in 2018.
After Khabib had won via submission, chaos ensued as members from both fighters’ teams flooded the Octagon, with several members of Khabib’s team attacking McGregor, which they quickly learned was a bad idea.
McGregor has been in favour of a second fight between the two for some time, whilst Khabib has insisted he has no interest in facing the Irishman again, as he retired from UFC after his victory over Justin Gaethje at UFC 254.
This is something UFC president Dana White is desperately trying to change.
Whilst speaking to ESPN, White said: “Look at what he’s done to every opponent he has faced. … I think he should fight again and I’m going to press him as hard as I can for one more.”
White then moved on to speak about the possibility of Khabib and Conor squaring off again, and he seems to be very in favour of it.
“I don’t know if this is going to be the same Conor after the Poirier fight, but if this Conor sticks around for the next year, how do you not do Khabib vs Conor again?”
For now, though, Conor has to get past Poirier if there is going to be any hint of a possibility of him and Khabib going at it again.
A win over Poirier would put McGregor very much in the picture for a title shot, but with Khabib planning on sticking to his retirement plans, it is still very much up for debate who that title shot would be against.