Well, current undisputed UFC lightweight champion, Khabib ‘The Eagle’ Nurmagomedov may have claimed that something spectacular from UFC 257 this weekend may entice him from his October retirement, however, according to arch-rival, event headliner ‘The Notorious’ Conor McGregor, the Russian won’t be returning to the Octagon with his title in tow — claiming he’ll be stripped instead.

Nurmagomedov, who recently sat down with promotional president, Dana White to discuss his immediate fighting future, according to White, detailed how if he witnesses something eye-catching from either the co-main event of UFC 257 between Dan Hooker and Michael Chandler or headliner, Dustin Poirier and McGregor, he may consider making a thirtieth professional walk. Nurmagomedov is also said to have noted how impressed he’s been with the surge of Brazilian force, Charles ‘Do Bronx’ Oliveira recently. 

Involved in a bitter, bad-blooded rivalry with the Etihad Arena event headliner, McGregor since their UFC 229 debacle in October of 2018, Nurmagomedov had also according to White detailed how he would never hold the undisputed lightweight championship hostage during his speculated retirement, in a bid to keep the division rolling.

Speaking with media gathered at today’s UFC 257 press conference ahead of this weekend’s rematch with Poirier, McGregor claimed that he believes that Nurmagomedov will be stripped of his champion status following the culmination of this weekend’s pay-per-view event. 

I’ll always go — I’ll always look to get the highest challenge,” McGregor said to The Mac Life reporter, Oscar Willis. “Dustin (Poirier) here has a win over (Dan) Hooker who’s on stage here. He knocked out Justin (Gaethje) so there are some high contenders already. Justin, in turn, knocked out Tony (Ferguson) who was another contender.

I think I’m — I think I’m right at the top here,” McGregor explained. “I’d make the case if that man (Khabib Nurmagomedov) is continuing to dodge this (rematch) and dodge the commitment of competing again. the [lightweight] title should be stripped and we should be engaging in a title fight. But I’m sure it’ll happen after this bout. I’m interested to hear what the excuses — or what will be said after the fight, but I predict a title strip.

Last featuring at UFC 254 also on ‘Fight Island’ in October last, Nurmagomedov successfully unified the lightweight championships via a stunning, highlight performance against then-interim belt holder, Justin ‘The Highlight’ Gaethje with a second-round triangle — announcing his retirement from professional mixed martial arts during his post-fight interview with UFC commentator, Jon Anik. 

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Aspiring mixed martial arts reporter based in Ireland. Follow along at @Ross_Markey on Twitter for all the latest news, fight announcements, opinion, and feature pieces.