UFC president Dana White is anticipated to satisfy with undefeated light-weight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov this week in Abu Dhabi for the primary time since Nurmagomedov introduced his retirement in October.
Nurmagomedov (29-0) continues to be the UFC’s undisputed 155-pound champion, despite the fact that he has said he doesn’t intend to battle once more. White has repeatedly stated he believes Nurmagomedov will finally return to the Octagon, however says the promotion ought to have a a lot better concept of Nurmagomedov’s standing this week.
“I am clearly assembly with him as a result of I believe that he ought to battle once more,” White advised ESPN. “Take a look at what he did to Justin Gaethje [in October]. Take a look at what he is executed to each opponent he has confronted. … I believe he ought to battle once more and I’ll press him as arduous as I can for yet another.”
Nurmagomedov, 32, shocked the combined martial arts world when he stated he wouldn’t battle once more following his third consecutive title protection in opposition to Gaethje at UFC 254. Nurmagomedov’s father, Abdulmanap, died of coronary heart problems made worse by the coronavirus final 12 months, and Nurmagomedov stated he promised his mom he wouldn’t battle once more. It is well-known, nevertheless, that Abdulmanap wished his son to retire with a last file of 30-0.
As a fan of the game, White stated he’d like to see Nurmagomedov battle “10 extra,” however hinted his purpose, for now, is to get him to return for only one. The UFC is selling an enormous light-weight battle between Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier at UFC 257 on Jan. 23 on “Combat Island” (Yas Island in Abu Dhabi). Ought to McGregor win, White has made it no secret he would like to e-book a second battle between Nurmagomedov and McGregor. The 2 met for the title in October 2018, and Nurmagomedov received through submission within the fourth spherical.
“As a promoter, you all the time need to see the most effective guys on the planet, however on the similar time, when a man desires to retire, he in all probability ought to,” White stated. “The distinction with a man like Khabib is he is been by means of a lot, and shedding his dad was a significant blow to him. But, his dad wished him to hit 30-0.
“It doesn’t matter what you consider Conor personally, Conor McGregor will not be solely among the finest on the planet, however among the finest to ever do it. And proper now, he is as targeted as he is ever been. I do not know if that is going to be the identical Conor after the Poirier battle, but when this Conor sticks round for the subsequent 12 months, how do you not do Khabib vs. Conor once more?”
If White is unsuccessful at persuading Nurmagomedov into one other battle, he did say McGregor will battle for the championship if he have been to beat Poirier on Jan. 23. That battle is a rematch of a bout that befell in September 2014, when McGregor beat Poirier at UFC 178 through first-round knockout.