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Khabib Nurmagomedov may fight Justin Gaethje as scheduled at UFC 253, says Dana White

Khabib Nurmagomedov
Khabib Nurmagomedov
Anurag Mitra
Modified 15 Jul 2020, 07:29 IST

UFC president Dana White has spoken on the Khabib Nurmagomedov situation. The reigning lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov was supposed to defend his title against interim champion Justin Gaethje in a title-unification bout in September this year but the sudden demise of Khabib's father Abdulmanap has led to speculations of the fight being postponed to a later date.

Speaking on the matter, Dana White said that there's still a possibility of Khabib Nurmagomedov fighting Gaethje inside the Octagon as scheduled at UFC 253 on September 19. However, White has also said that nothing has been confirmed yet and though he's unwilling to assign a date to the fight just yet, the UFC frontman remains confident that the title-unification bout will take place as scheduled.

Dana White says Khabib Nurmagomedov could be back in September

Speaking to the media at the Fight Island, White said that he will not initiate contact with the lightweight champ and give him as much time as he needs to recover from the grief. Dana said that whenever Khabib Nurmagomedov feels he is ready, the former will be waiting for his call.

“I don’t think it’s off the table,” White told the media at Fight Island on Tuesday. “I’m just waiting to hear from him. No, I’m not messing with Khabib. I’m leaving him alone until he’s ready to talk and I’m letting him mourn and do what he has to do. I reached out to him the day of and I haven’t heard back from him since."

Khabib Nurmagomedov's last fight was at UFC 242 last September when he defeated Dustin Poirier via third-round submission to successfully defend the UFC lightweight title for the second time.

Khabib Nurmagomedov is 28-0 in MMA and boasts of a spectacular 12-0 record inside the Octagon. Khabib Nurmagomedov won became the lightweight champion by beating Al Iaquinta in a fight for the then vacant title and later defended it against Conor McGregor at UFC 229 and Dustin Poirier at UFC 242 respectively.

Published 15 Jul 2020, 07:29 IST
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