UFC president Dana White has confirmed that Khabib Nurmagomedov will return to the octagon, provided he is impressed by any of the lightweight bouts to take place at UFC 257. The title is still not vacated and will be with 'The Eagle' for the time being.
After the first fight of the main card where Punahele Soriano faced Dusko Todorovic and won, Dana White finally revealed what discussion went down between him and Khabib Nurmagomedov behind closed doors. The UFC president said that the lightweight champion has taken his time to clear his head and is ready to make a return if the lightweight division fights of UFC 257 manage to do something explosive.
Khabib Nurmagomedov does not want to tie up the division with the uncertainty over his retirement. It can be assumed that he will make his final call after UFC 257 takes place. Both the main event and the pay-per-view's co-main event are lightweight division fights, featuring Conor McGregor against Dustin Poirier and Michael Chandler against Dan Hooker.
"Khabib might be interested in returning if guys do "something special" coming up... He would never tie up the division or keep the belt away from anyone else... If these guys can do something special, Khabib will fight them," Dana White shared.
Dana White delivers on his promise of convincing Khabib Nurmagomedov to return
A few weeks after announcing his retirement, it was reported that Khabib Nurmagomedov was going to meet Dana White during the first fight week of 2021 set to take place at Fight Island, Abu Dhabi. There was speculation that the meeting would most likely be about Khabib's retirement and the subsequent status of the lightweight belt.
The two spoke behind closed doors today, January 16, before the first event of the year, UFC Fight Night: Holloway vs. Kattar, could begin.
Dana White had previously said that he would convince Khabib to come back when the two met at Fight Island.
Turns out, the UFC president is a man of his words and he has almost certainly done what he said he would do.