Following his appearance on ESPN last weekend, Dana White was on The Jim Rome Show, saying that the current lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov might indeed step back inside the Octagon at the future event. The latter will be watching UFC 257: Poirier vs McGregor 2 to see if any of the main event fighters can issue him a challenge.
“I think that he still wants to fight,” White said. “He’s looking at ‘I beat all these guys, what’s the next challenge for me? Let’s see how this thing goes this weekend and [see] if somebody looks really good.'”
“I just feel like he decided to retire under a ton of pressure. His dad just died, he didn’t spend time with his family because he was in camp. He got injured and had a hard time cutting weight because of the injury. He goes in, fights the fight and I think he made an emotional decision. So we’ll see how this thing plays out this weekend.”
UFC 257 is headlined by Conor McGregor up against Dustin Poirier in the rematch. Nurmagomedov defeated both by submission.
In the co-main event No.6 ranked lightweight Dan Hooker squares off against former three-time Bellator MMA lightweight champion Michael Chandler, who makes his UFC debut.
“He [Nurmagomedov] is coming out to Vegas, and he and I are going to go to dinner. He said ‘The one thing I won’t do [is] I will never hold up the division. So if I decide that I’m not gonna fight one of these guys, I’m retired, the belt can move on.'”
Khabib Nurmagomedov last fought in October 2020, when he submitted Justin Gaethje in the second round (watch video highlights). With the win he retained the title and ubated his record to 29-0. During his post-fight interview inside the Octagon he announced his retirement. Several months before the event his father Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov passed away.