Dana White is determined to convince Khabib Nurmagomedov to make a comeback, and the UFC president will stop at nothing to get it done.
Nurmagomedov retired following his submission win over Justin Gaethje at UFC 254 but White will meet with ‘The Eagle’ in Abu Dhabi later this month to talk about booking his final fight in the UFC.
“I’m obviously meeting with him because I believe that he should fight again,” White said in an interview with ESPN (h/t Alexander K. Lee of MMA Fighting). “I mean, look at what he did to Justin Gaethje. Look at what he’s done to every opponent he has faced. Like when I wanted [Daniel] Cormier to stay, I still think they’re the best in the world. And then there’s always the argument, well, it’s never a bad thing to go out on top.
“And when you talk about money, I mean Khabib has money beyond belief. This guy doesn’t ever have to work again and he still has the ability to do things to make unbelievable money. He’s in a very unique position as a fighter. I think he should fight again and I’m gonna press him as hard as I can for one more.”
White would obviously love to see a rematch between Nurmagomedov and McGregor but if Khabib does stay retired and ‘The Notorious’ goes on to beat Dustin Poirier at UFC 257, the UFC head honcho admits he will have no choice but to let the fight go.
“No matter what you think of Conor personally, Conor McGregor is not only one of the best in the world, [but] one of the best to ever do it,” White said. “Right now he’s as focused as he’s ever been. I don’t know if this is gonna be the same Conor after the Poirier fight. Like you said, Conor goes like this [makes up-and-down gesture]. But if this Conor sticks around for the next year, how do you not do Khabib vs. Conor again?
“The division’s stacked with tough guys and the reality is that if Khabib does retire then whoever the highest-ranked guy is at the time will end up facing Conor—if Conor beats Poirier and would fight for the title—I’m sure.”
UFC 257: Poirier vs. McGregor 2 will take place on Jan. 23 at UFC Fight Island in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
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