Well, it appears the immediate fighting future of current undisputed UFC lightweight champion, Khabib ‘The Eagle’ Nurmagomedov depends on a couple of performances at next weekend’s UFC 257 pay-per-view event in Abu Dhabi, UAE.
Meeting with promotional president, Dana White before filming an episode of Lookin’ for a Fight at a UAE Warriors event, the topic of conversation between the two was the fighting future of Khabib following his shocking decision to hang up his gloves with immediate effect following UFC 254 in October last.
Successfully unifying the lightweight titles, Khabib submitted then-interim titleholder, Justin ‘The Highlight’ Gaethje via a second-round triangle, before emotionally announcing his decision to walk away from professional mixed martial arts. Khabib detailed how he had made a promise to his mother to stop fighting following the sad passing of his coach and father, Abdulmanap last year following complications after he contracted COVID-19.
Linked with an Octagon return ever since, Khabib met with the above mentioned, White yesterday in Abu Dhabi, and as well noting his interest in the surging Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu standout, Charles ‘Do Bronx’ Oliveira, explained to the promotional leader that if either Dustin Poirier, Conor McGregor, or Dan Hooker, and Michael Chandler produce “something spectacular” at UFC 257 next weekend — it may entice him from a retirement.
“He’s (Khabib Nurmagomedov) accomplished everything he wanted to — set out to accomplish,” White said to UFC commentator, Jon Anik during the UFC Fight Island 7 broadcast. “He thought that (Charles) Oliveira looked really good in his last fight against Tony Ferguson. So next Saturday, we got the (Conor) McGregor, (Dustin) Poirier fight, and (Michael) Chandler and (Dan) Hooker on there (UFC 257).“
“So his words to me were,” White continued. “‘I’m gonna watch this fight’ he said ‘I would never tie up the division’, hold the belt and keep the belt away from anybody else, these guys do something spectacular, show me something spectacular and make me wanna come back and fight’. So I have the feeling, if somebody delivers — it could be on the co-main event, it could be the main event. And like I said, he thought Oliveira looked good. So, a lot of good fights — two fights coming up, Oliveira looked great, if these guys can do something special, Khabib will fight them.“