Dana White: UFC champ Khabib Nurmagomedov will return in September (1 Viewer)


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Dana White: UFC champ Khabib Nurmagomedov will return in September

Khabib Nurmagomedov was suspended nine months and fined a whopping $500,000 by the Nevada State Athletic Commission for his involvement in the UFC 229 post-fight brawl. This would make him eligible to compete on July 6th, but the lightweight champion has gone on record in the past to say that he plans on sitting out much longer, and isn’t fighting in Nevada again.

A few months ago, Khabib mentioned November in New York as a possible return, but according to Dana White, he will be defending his title sooner.

“He’ll be back in September,” White said on the UFC Unfiltered podcast. “It’s one of the things with him anyways, he’s on suspension and then he doesn’t fight during Ramadan. That puts him at September.”

As for possible opponents, Tony Ferguson has been viewed as the number one contender for a while, but Khabib is more likely face the winner of Max Holloway vs Dustin Poirier. The pair will be fighting for the interim lightweight belt at UFC 236 this April, so barring any injuries, the winner should have enough time to prepare for a possible unification bout with Khabib this September.

If this target date pushes through, Khabib will just have been out of competition for less than a year. This begs the question, was that interim title really necessary?


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You won’t see us soon damn it. September is figuratively 100 months away.


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Khabib Nurmagomedov reveals UFC 'working on Abu Dhabi in September' for Russian's next fight (VIDEO)
"Yes, we are working on this," Nurmagomedov confirmed. "UFC told me that they are working on this. I just came back from Dubai. And very soon news is coming. Very soon," he added.

According to the UFC champ, the main stumbling block to finalize the deal is the suspensions of teammate and UFC featherweight Zubaira Tukgugov, and cousin Abubakar Nurmagomedov, who are both currently serving a one-year ban for their involvement in the infamous post-fight brawl with Conor McGregor and his team after the UFC 229 main event.

"[Tukgugov and Abubakar] either have to fight with me on the same event or before me, it is the main term of my comeback," he said.

It's a principal issue for me and I won't step back

The 30-year-old also confirmed that he will face the winner of Max Holloway v Dustin Poirier, who are set to face each other in the UFC 236 main event in Atlanta, Georgia, for the interim lightweight title.

"[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 UFC. Holloway and Poirier are great fighters, I will fight the winner of this bout."
When asked about which of the two fighters he would prefer to face, Nurmagomedov praised Holloway. The Russian was scheduled to fight current featherweight champion Holloway, but the bout was called off due to the American's ill health.

"Holloway has a 13-fight winning streak, if he beats Poirier it will be 14 wins 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 also be more interested in a Holloway fight," said Khabib, who himself boasts an 11-fight UFC winning streak and with 28 wins from 28 professional fights, possesses the longest unbeaten record in professional MMA.

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