Khabib could fight winner between Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier as UFC boss Dana White 'bets' he will return
KHABIB NURMAGOMEDOV could be lined up to face the winner between Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier.
That is according to UFC boss Dana White, who is willing to put money on Nurmagomedov ending his retirement for one final fight.
White told TMZ Sports: "I think there's a good chance he does.
"His father wanted him to go 30-0, super emotional after that last fight, he'd been through a lot, a ton of s***.
"So, I think he will. Nothing's done. If I had to make a bet – and I'm a betting man – I would bet he does."
If Khabib, 32, is to fight on, White named lightweight contenders McGregor, Poirier, Tony Ferguson, and Michael Chandler as potential opponents.
He explained: "You're looking at Conor McGregor and Poirier, who are going to fight.
"We're talking about Michael Chandler and Ferguson fighting, so we'll see how all these things play out here.
"Obviously we'd figure out whether he (Khabib) wanted to come back and if he does, one of those guys would definitely be in for the fight."
McGregor recently signed his half of the deal to fight Poirier – who he beat in 2014 – to confirm their rematch, set for January 23.
The Irishaman, 32, has not fought at lightweight since losing to Nurmagomedov, also 32, in 2018.
Poirier, 31, lost to the unbeaten champion himself last year, but bounced back to beat Dan Hooker, 30, in June.
Ferguson, 36, has had FIVE fights with Nurmagomedov cancelled in the past, but since vowed to finally face the Russian.
But first he may need to beat UFC newboy Chandler, who was signed after his Bellator contract expired.
The 34-year-old is yet to debut in the promotion, but is in talks with Ferguson.
Nurmagomedov announced his shock retirement after beating Justin Gaethje, 31, last month.
It was the first fight since the loss of his influential father Abdulmanap, who passed away aged 57 in July after contracting coronavirus.
But despite holding firm on his decision to hang up the gloves after 29 fights undefeated, he is yet to be stripped of the lightweight crown.
That is because promoter White has backed Khabib to return for one more bout and attempt to go 30-0.
After submitting Gaethje at UFC 254 on Fight Island, Nurmagomedov confirmed his father always wanted him to retire unbeaten in 30 fights.
It leaves the door open if Nurmagomedov were to change his mind and attempt to fulfil Abdulmanap's plan.
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