The UFC President Dana White thinks that Khabib Nurmgomedov could yet make a U-turn on his decision to retire following his victory over Justin Gaethje in October of last year at UFC 254.
White met with the undefeated UFC lightweight champion in Abu Dhabi this past Friday in private in a bid to persuade the Russian to reconsider his decision to retire and fight at least one more time.
‘The Eagle’ subsequently shared with White that he would consider returning to the octagon but only if he were impressed with what he sees.
White said in a video posted on UFC’s official Twitter account: “So his words to me were, (Khabib), I’m going to watch this fight. I would never tie up the division. These guys do something spectacular, show me something spectacular and make me want to come back and fight.
“So I have a feeling that if somebody delivers, if these guys can do something special, Khabib will fight them.”
In addition, many in the sport believe ‘The Eagle’ will step back in the octagon in a bid to extend his undefeated record to 30-0, a millstone, which his late father and trainer Abulmanap had targeted for his son.
Indeed, Khabib’s statement to White has only heightened the stakes ahead of the main event of UFC 257 next weekend, where Conor McGregor is due to face Dustin Poirier.
If the Russian were to fight again, the winner of this encounter will likely be his opponent. When talkSPORT was able to speak to White, they asked the question regarding how likely Khabib would choose to fight McGregor again for his attempt at number 30.
“You can say whatever you want, Conor McGregor versus Khabib the rematch is a massive fight.
If Conor should win in spectacular fashion, it would be hard to say he doesn’t deserve the shot.
White added that he was due to talk again to Khabib following the UFC 257 event in Las Vegas before the Russian flies home with a final decision to be made there and then. The one thing Khabib did say is ‘I’ll never hold up the division.’
Will Khabib make a return to the Octagon in 2021?