One of the more intriguing talking points coming out of the press conference was White addressing the possibility of Khabib Nurmagomedov returning to the Octagon.
Uncertainty surrounding Khabib Nurmagomedov’s retirement
The MMA community has lately been abuzz with speculation concerning Khabib Nurmagomedov’s potential return to active competition.
The speculation has been ongoing ever since he announced his retirement in October. However, it has grown even more after Nurmagomedov recently teased a meeting with Dana White.
Khabib Nurmagomedov had recently taken to social media and simply noted: "See you soon, Dana White."
The vast majority of MMA fans and experts believe that Nurmagomedov and White’s upcoming meeting could provide some much-needed clarity regarding the current situation of the UFC lightweight title and the division.
Nurmagomedov last competed at UFC 254 on October 24th, 2020. The Eagle secured a submission victory over Justin Gaethje and successfully unified the UFC lightweight championship. However, Nurmagomedov then proceeded to stun the combat sports world by announcing his retirement from the sport of MMA.
The undefeated UFC icon revealed that he’d made his mother a promise that his fight with Gaethje at UFC 254 would be the final time he competes in MMA.
That’s because Khabib’s mother doesn’t want him to continue fighting without his father Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov in his corner.
Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov was his son Khabib’s lifelong coach and passed away due to health complications related to COVID-19 in July.
But in spite of announcing that he has indeed retired from MMA, Khabib Nurmagomedov’s recent social media posts regarding him being set to meet Dana White have fueled rumors of the lightweight kingpin returning to the UFC.
Dana White believes Khabib Nurmagomedov will return and try to take his MMA record to 30-0
Regarding Khabib Nurmagomedov’s recent tweet, wherein Nurmagomedov spoke about meeting him soon, Dana White stated:
“We’re going to meet in Abu Dhabi…Yeah. Sometime soon…I’ll let you know when you need to know.”
Furthermore, when questioned about whether he believes Khabib Nurmagomedov would return to the UFC to take his MMA record to 30-0, Dana White said:
“I do (believe). He (Khabib Nurmagomedov) hasn’t said that to me, but I do.” (*H/T Sportskeeda for the transcription)
Would you like to see Khabib Nurmagomedov return? Sound off in the comments.