UFC president Dana White has once again claimed that he expects Khabib Nurmagomedov to reverse his MMA retirement.
The 51-year-old confessed he still sees the undefeated Russian as the 155-pound champ after confirming that Conor McGregor would NOT be fighting Dustin Poirier for the lightweight title.
Khabib's UFC career is up in the air after he hung up his gloves following his submission win against Justin Gaethje, 31, in October.
It was the first fight since the loss of his influential father Abdulmanap, who passed away aged 57 in July after contracting coronavirus.
The 32-year-old – who moved to 29-0 – admitted he could not fight any longer without his mentor.
But Dana White believes Nurmagomedov could come back to complete one more bout and honour his dad's legacy.
I told you guys that I think he’s gonna go to [30-0]. If he’s still testing, why the hell would you want to test if you’re not gonna fight?
And the UFC chief was even more convinced of a return after the Eagle revealed he is still being drug tested despite his apparent retirement.
When asked about Khabib's test, White told reporters: “I didn’t know that happened.
“I told you guys that I think he’s gonna go to [30-0]. If he’s still testing, why the hell would you want to test if you’re not gonna fight?
“He hasn’t committed, but I feel like he’s gonna. I’m not really pushing him. We talked about it and he just fought. Let him take some time, spend some time with his family, spend the holidays. There’s no rush.”
Meanwhile, Dana also lifted the lid on the plans for McGregor to return to the UFC with a bout against Poirier.
The Irish star has been in negotiations to face the American – who he beat in 2014 – since he publicly accepted the rematch in October.
But UFC president White confirmed a chance to be crowned the new king of the lightweight division will not be up for grabs.
He added: “No, [it won’t be for the title].
“Khabib’s gonna fight (again). I believe he’s gonna fight. It’s not for the title.”
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