Lightweight champion Khabib mulls return to UFC, says White
17 Jan 2021
Reigning lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov could make return to Octagon again.
Gulf Today, Staff Reporter
The retirement of UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov after his October 2020 win over Justin Gaethje was a shocking one, but after meeting with UFC President Dana White on Friday, it appears that ‘The Eagle’ isn’t closing the door on a return.
Following a scheduled meeting on Friday between Nurmagomedov and White in Abu Dhabi, White announced on Saturday’s UFC Fight Island 7 broadcast on ABC that the reigning lightweight champion could be open to competing again depending on how the contenders at UFC 257—Dustin Poirier, Conor McGregor, Dan Hooker, and Michael Chandler—perform next weekend.
Top contender Charles Oliveira was also mentioned as having caught Khabib’s eye.
Speaking to ESPN in a video posted on the official UFC Twitter account, White revealed Nurmagomedov had suggested if there was "something spectacular" at the upcoming lightweight contests which feature Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier, then he could be sparked into a return.
"Basically the way he feels right now, he's accomplished everything he set out to accomplish," White said.
"He thought (Charles) Oliveira looked really good in his last fight against Tony Ferguson, so next Saturday we've got the McGregor/Poirier fight and (Michael) Chandler and (Dan) Hooker on there.
“If these guys can do something special, Khabib will fight them,” said White, also explaining that while a return from Khabib is far from a done deal, the champion made it clear that he will not tie up the division, meaning that sooner rather than later, there will be clarity in the 155-pound weight class.
And a lot for the top guns in the division to fight for next weekend.
"So I have a feeling that if someone delivers, it could be on the main event or co-event, and like I said he thought Oliveira looked good, if these guys can do something special, Khabib will fight them,” White added.