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Dana White suggests a 'focused' Conor McGregor is the right opponent for Khabib Nurmagomedov's UFC return

Conor McGregor (left); Khabib Nurmagomedov (right)
Conor McGregor (left); Khabib Nurmagomedov (right)
Johny Payne
ANALYST
Modified 11 Jan 2021, 08:34 IST
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UFC president Dana White has suggested that the current ‘focused’ version of Conor McGregor would be the right option for Khabib Nurmagomedov’s much-awaited comeback fight.

Conor McGregor’s last fight was a first-round TKO victory over Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone in a Welterweight bout in January 2020. On the other hand, Khabib Nurmagomedov’s final outing the octagon was a UFC Lightweight title unification match against Justin Gaethje in October 2020.

Nurmagomedov won via a second-round submission, successfully unified the Lightweight title, and then announced his retirement from the sport of MMA.

Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov have competed against each other in the past, with The Eagle’s UFC Lightweight title at stake. Nurmagomedov defeated The Notorious One via a fourth-round submission in their fight that transpired in October 2018.

As reported by ESPN MMA via Brett Okamoto, Dana White believes that McGregor would be the ideal opponent to welcome back The Eagle if he comes out of retirement and returns to the octagon.

“No matter what you think of Conor personally, Conor McGregor is not only one of the best in the world, but one of the best to ever do it. And right now, he’s as focused as he’s ever been. I don’t know if this is going to be the same Conor after the Poirier fight, but if this Conor sticks around for the next year, how do you not do Khabib vs. Conor again?” said White.

Presently, the UFC Lightweight title is held by Khabib Nurmagomedov. Fans and experts have been engaged in a considerable amount of discussions since Nurmagomedov announced his retirement last October.

The MMA community is divided in their opinion about whether or not The Eagle would end his retirement and return to take his MMA record to 30-0.

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Is the Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Conor McGregor rematch a realistic possibility?

Khabib Nurmagomedov defeated Conor McGregor in their UFC lightweight title fight
Khabib Nurmagomedov defeated Conor McGregor in their UFC lightweight title fight

The consensus in the MMA world is that if Khabib Nurmagomedov doesn’t come out of retirement this year, UFC would strip him of the Lightweight title. The organization is expected to then book two of the division’s top-tier fighters against one another for the vacant Championship.

The belief is that the winner of the upcoming UFC 257 (January 23rd, 2021) fight between Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier could fight for the Lightweight title later this year. The winner could fight either Khabib Nurmagomedov for his title – if he comes out of retirement – or Charles Oliveira for the vacant Championship.

Published 11 Jan 2021, 08:34 IST
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