There won’t be any repeat of the UFC 229 brawl because Khabib Nurmagomedov will not be in attendance when Conor McGregor next takes to the Octagon.
It was initially believed that Khabib Nurmagomedov might be Octagon-side for Conor McGregor vs. Dustin Poirier II on January 23 because the undefeated Russian was due to corner his cousin, Umar Nurmagomedov, for his UFC debut.
Umar Nurmagomedov’s fight was rescheduled for January 20 and Khabib doesn’t have any plans to hang around for UFC 257.
Dana White has revealed that the UFC lightweight legend intends to leave Abu Dhabi before next weekend, having already given the UFC President an update on his fighting future.
“No, he’s cornering on Wednesday and then he leaves,” White said of Nurmagomedov. “He leaves and goes to Las Vegas.
“So we’re going to have the fight on Saturday and I fly home on Sunday and I’ll see him again in Vegas.
“Those fights will have played out, he and I will hook up and go for dinner in Vegas and talk again and we’ll make a decision.”
A meeting between Nurmagomedov and White on Friday let the UFC boss know that ‘The Eagle’ has left the door open for a potential return to the Octagon despite announcing his retirement last October.
Nurmagomedov has challenged the participants of next weekend’s main and co-main event – McGregor, Poirier, Dan Hooker and Michael Chandler – to impress him and persuade him to come back for one last bout.
— UFC (@ufc) January 16, 2021
Discussing the Nurmagomedov meeting on Saturday night’s UFC broadcast, White said: “His words to me were, ‘I’m gonna watch this fight.’ He said, ‘I would never tie up the division, hold the belt or keep the belt away from anybody else. If these guys do something spectacular, show me something spectacular, and make me want to come back and fight.’
“So I have a feeling that if somebody delivers, it could be on the co-main event or the main event and like I said he thought (Charles) Oliveira looked good. Two fights coming up, Oliveira looked great and if these guys can do something special, Khabib will fight them.”