UFC Lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov could be back in the Octagon in September
Khabib Nurmagomedov is in talks about headlining a UFC event in Abu Dhabi, the capital city of United Arab Emirates and names who he expects to face. In a media scrum after Khabib’s annual appearance at the Plekhanov Russian University of Economics, the champion gave his thoughts on his return and potential opponent.
“Yes, we are working on this.” Nurmagomedov said. “UFC told me that they are working on this. I just came back from Dubai and very soon news is coming. Very soon.”
There is however a big stumbling block to Khabib returning. The champ wants his teammates reinstated either before he returns or on the same date.
Last year his team mate Zubaira Tukgugov and cousin Abubakar Nurmagomedov were suspended for a year due to their involvement in the post fight brawl following Khabib’s win over Conor McGregor.
“[Tukgugov and Abubakar] either have to fight with me on the same event or before me, it is the main term of my comeback, UFC Lightweight titleholder Nurmagomedov said. “It’s a principal issue for me and I won’t step back ” he added.
??BREAKING: Khabib reveals UFC 'working on Abu Dhabi in September' for Russian's next fight, talks potential opponent ?
— RT Sport (@RTSportNews) April 2, 2019
Max Holloway and Dustin Poirier are scheduled to meet for the UFC Lightweight interim title on April 13th. Nurmagomedov expects to face the winner on his return.
“[Holloway and Poirier] are fighting for the interim belt and the champion has to face the interim champion. Tony Ferguson can’t fight at the moment. [Georges] St-Pierre is retired. McGregor is retired. A boxing match with Mayweather is not happening as we couldn’t come to an agreement with the UFC.”
“Holloway and Poirier are great fighters, I will fight the winner of this bout.”
On being asked who he would prefer to face, it seems Nurmagomedov thinks a fight with Holloway would be a bigger fight.
“Holloway has a 13 fight winning streak, if he beats Poirier it will be 14wins in a row, which is the longest active winning streak in the UFC. If he wins he will also be a two weight champion. Fans would be more interested in a Holloway fight.” Khabib stated.
The UFC will be hoping one of their big stars will return soon.