When the Ultimate Fighting Championship returns to Fight Island to kick off its 2020 schedule, UFC President Dana White is expected to have his long-awaited reunion with Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Nurmagomedov announced his retirement from the Octagon after beating Justin Gaethje at UFC 254 in Abu Dhai on October 24, citing a promise he made to his mother. However, the possibility still exists that ‘The Eagle’ will return to try to end his career 30-0 to achieve a goal he set for himself with his late father, Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov. “I think his dad wants him to reach 30-0 is on his mind, and he wants to achieve it because he knew his dad wanted him,” White told BT Sport. “But we’ll see. He and I are meeting next month to discuss. He might not want to fight, I don’t know the answer to that. But I’m a little confident that I can talk to him about it.
In anticipation of a potential Nurmagomedov return, the promotion has not left the lightweight belt and White has insisted the UFC 257 rematch between Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier will not be for an interim title. .
White believes the lightweight division will have more clarity early next year after meeting Nurmagomedov.
“No working title, I’ll find out next month,” White said. “I’ll know when Conor and Poirier fight, when he [Nurmagomedov] will fight again, so everything is going perfectly.
Nurmagomedov recently held a press conference in Russia to announce the launch of his own promotion, Eagle Fighting Championships. The Dagestani star has also ruled out the possibility of a fight against winner McGregor-Poirier during this session.
“I smothered them both, both were champions, both surrendered to me,” Nurmagomedov said at the time. “As our saying goes: a horse does not run until the donkey has won. Donkeys don’t even participate in competitions where horses run. I have no interest in fighting against these opponents.