UFC President Dana White appeared on The Jim Rome Show earlier today, where he spoke about a potential return of lightweight king Khabib Nurmagomedov. The latter was in action in October on “Fight Island”, where he defeated Justin Gaethje by submission in the second round and retained the title (video highlights here).
In July “The Eagle” lost his father Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov, who passed away at the age of 57 due to complications caused by coronavirus. Nurmagomedov Sr was also trainer and mentor to his son.
Post-fight Nurmagomedov announced his retirement, making it official inside the Octagon. He left the MMA cage with an unprecedented untouched record 29-0.
“It was such a cool moment,” Dana White said when asked what was the most exciting for him that day. “Obviously the fight, the way he [Khabib Nurmagomedov] won the fight. Small arena in Abu Dhabi. Not many people there, and everybody was standing on their feet, hanging on every word that he said. It was a pretty cool moment.”
“First of all, he is one of the most honorable guys I’ve ever dealt with. Number two – he is a total badass. He is one of the greatest of all time.”
Retired former UFC lightweight champion is still reportedly in the drug testing pool. When asked whether White was expecting him to be back and try to secure 30-0 the answer was “I do”.
“He was so emotional after that fight with everything he had been through, especially the death of his father. But his father wanted him to go to 30-0, so I think he will [be back].”
The fight between Khabib Nurmagomedov and also retired mixed martial arts legend Georges St-Piere was definitely something the fight fans would love to see. Both fighters also appeared quite entertained by the idea (GSP’s reaction here).
The Canadian MMA GOAT, however, was not mentioned, when White was asked, who would he see Nurmagomedov fighting, if the latter indeed would step inside the Octagon again.
“I don’t know, we are going to see how some of these fights play out. Obviously, [Conor] McGregor signed his bout agreement today – the fight with Dustin Poirier. [Justin] Gaethje is out there… We are going to see how all these things [play out]. Michael Chandler and possibly Tony Ferguson are going to fight.”