Dana White and Bret Okamoto discussed Khabib Nurmagomedov's future plans in a recent interview. Although Khabib has stated that he is not all that interested in returning to the Octagon, Dana White is still hopeful. He said,
"Khabib can say whatever he wants. I truly believe that if this thing plays out(in favor of) the right guy, he(Khabib Nurmagomedov), will fight him. I truly believe that. And [pointing towards the camera] you know it too, Khabib. I know you know it. I can see it in his face when we talk. I know. You don't go your whole life, and be an incredible competitor like this guy is, and then one day say, 'Ah, that's it'. Right before 30-0, and he's going to say, 'I don't have that competitive spirit anymore'? I'm not buying it."
Khabib Nurmagomedov had said before UFC 257 that he would consider returning to the UFC. However, there is a clause in that statement. Khabib said he would only consider returning if one of the Lightweights competing at UFC 257's main event and co-main event impressed him. In the main event of UFC 257, Dustin Poirier became the first person to KO Conor McGregor in professional MMA career. In the co-main event, Michael Chandler enjoyed a dynamic UFC debut by knocking Dan Hooker out in the first round of the event.
Nevertheless, Khabib Nurmagomedov stated that he will not return to the Octagon.
Why does Dana White believe that Khabib Nurmagomedov will return only to fight Conor McGregor?
Dana White believes that the animosity between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor will act as the catalyst to bringing Khabib back. But, that is only if Conor McGregor reaches a spot worthy of a title shot. Currently, Conor McGregor is ranked 6th in the Lightweight division.
Even though Khabib Nurmagomedov has stated that he is levels above all other Lightweights active in the UFC, Dana White is counting on Conor McGregor to lure him back. On the other hand, Bret Okamoto asked Dana White why he is not letting the idea of Khabib's return go.
In response to this, Dana White said that if Khabib had no desire to fight, he would not have had meetings with him.