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Dana White names four potential opponents for Khabib Nurmagomedov's UFC return; rules out GSP

UFC champion Khabib Nurmagomedov
UFC champion Khabib Nurmagomedov
Dhruv Sharma
CONTRIBUTOR
Modified 20 Nov 2020, 18:55 IST
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Ever since Khabib Nurmagomedov announced his retirement at UFC 254, speculation regarding his comeback has been doing the rounds.

Khabib submitted Justin Gaethje in the second round in Fight Island and then announced his retirement, shocking the MMA community.

While teammate and long time friend Daniel Cormier had stated that Khabib will not return as he is unlikely to break his promise to his mother, manager Ali Abdelaziz has hinted on occasions that he does see Khabib returning.

UFC President Dana White also belongs to the group which sees Khabib Nurmagomedov returning to the UFC for one last fight. It would be a fight that allows the Dagestani to reach 30-0, a record his late father wanted for him.

Speaking with TMZ Sports, Dana White was asked about Khabib’s future and the possibility of his return and his opponent.

Dana stated, “Yes I think there is a good chance he returns. His father wanted him to go 30-0. [He was] super emotional after his last fight. I think he will [return]. Nothing’s done but if I had to make a bet and I am a betting man I say Khabib returns.”

However, Dana White was quick to shoot down a potential Georges St-Pierre super fight, instead naming the current contenders at lightweight as possible opponents.

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“It won’t be GSP” White said while discussing Khabib’s opponent “Conor and Poirier are going to fight we are talking about Chandler and Ferguson fighting, we’ll see how all these things play out here. If he decides to return, one of those guys would be in for the fight.”

Khabib Nurmagomedov on the other hand, in a recent interaction with University students, stated that he has no desire to return to the Octagon.

Khabib Nurmagomedov is ranked as the number 1 pound for pound fighter in UFC rankings

Even though Khabib Nurmagomedov has announced his retirement, he is still listed as the number one pound for pound fighter in UFC rankings. He achieved this feat for the first time after UFC 254, displacing long time king and former LHW champion Jon Jones from the top of the heap.

This development also started a debate as to who is the GOAT MMA fighter with many claiming that Khabib Nurmagomedov belongs at the top of that list too.

Jon Jones has publicly taken offence to that claim, reigniting his old feud with Daniel Cormier in the process.

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Interestingly, Dana White has also claimed that Khabib Nurmagomedov is still the lightweight champion, dismissing any possibility that the Poirier – McGregor bout will be for the 155-pound strap.

The confirmation of the fight came on Thursday with the two due to dance on January 23rd. 

Published 20 Nov 2020, 18:55 IST
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