White and Khabib met on the sidelines of the UAE Warriors 15 event in Abu Dhabi on Friday night – which was co-promoted by Khabib’s own newly-acquired promotion, Eagle Fighting Championship.

Cameras followed the Russian fighter and White into a room before the door slammed shut, leaving the pair to thrash out a decision on whether the undefeated lightweight champion would return to the octagon after announcing his retirement following his emotional victory over Justin Gaethje in October.

As the MMA world waits with bated breath, White issued a statement on his Instagram account on Saturday.

“What’s up everybody, I met with Khabib Nurmagomedov last night, and today (Saturday) at three o’clock on the East Coast (US) on the ABC network, I’m going to talk about his decision and how it’s going to impact the Poirier-McGregor fight next weekend, and the co-main event (Dan Hooker vs Michael Chandler) in the lightweight division,” White said.

That set off a frenzy of speculation online, with suggestions that Khabib had officially decided to vacate his title, leaving it open to the likes of former opponents Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier – whose lightweight bout headlines UFC 257 on Fight Island in Abu Dhabi on January 23.

The co-main event of that card sees New Zealander Dan Hooker face UFC debutant and former Bellator champion Michael Chandler. 

There have been widespread assertions that the only fight which could tempt Khabib to return to action would be a showdown with former two-weight UFC world champion Georges St-Pierre, although White had said Khabib would have to relinquish the lightweight belt for that to be considered.

Some fans speculated that Khabib had told White he would do exactly that, paving the way for a superfight with the 39-year-old Canadian, who last fought in the octagon more than three years ago when he returned to defeat Michael Bisping and win the middleweight title.

Whatever the case, the speculation looks set to come to an end sooner rather than later with White’s announcement at 15:00 East Coast time in US (20:00 GMT).     

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like

NBCSN to air PWHPA Dream Gap Tour game on March 6

On Tuesday, the Professional Women’s Hockey Players Association (PWHPA) announced two more games that will be played as part of the 2021 Dream Gap Tour, one of which will air live on NBCSN. On March 6 and 7, the Chicago…

Friday 5: Newman ‘thankful’ to be heading back to Daytona

Ryan Newman admits he’ll feel some emotion returning to Daytona International Speedway this weekend for the first time since he was hospitalized after his last-lap crash in the Daytona 500. Newman was on his way to winning the season-opening race…

UEFA Champions League Final: Bayern Munich face Paris Saint-Germain for the biggest prize in European football

After a coronavirus-hit season saw the quarterfinals of the tournament rearranged into single-leg knockout affairs, the Portuguese city of Lisbon has played host to the knockout stages of the UEFA Champions League. READ MORE: Payback time: Paris Saint-Germain put Qatar on…

‘I’m going to REJOICE in taking his 0’: Russian lightweight champion Khabib will suffer ‘MASSIVE damage’, promises UFC foe Gaethje

Interim champion Gaethje has been realistic rather than hyperbolic in the build-up to the biggest fight of his career on Fight Island on Saturday, admitting that he cannot predict exactly how his meeting with Nurmagomedov will play out. ‘The Highlight’…