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Khabib Nurmagomedov Wants UFC 257 Fighters to Do Something ‘Spectacular’ for Him to Fight Again

January 17, 2021 | Posted by Jeffrey Harris
UFC 223 Khabib Nurmagomedov Khabib Nurmagomedov's

As previously reported, UFC President Dana White was set to appear on yesterday’s UFC on ABC 1 broadcast to address the MMA future of UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov. After Nurmagomedov previously retired from MMA following his win over Justin Gaethje last October at UFC 254, it appears the fighter has slightly walked back on that announcement.

According to White during the ABC broadcast, Khabib Nurmagomedov will be watching UFC 257 later next weekend, and it could potentially determine his return to MMA for a 30th fight. Below are some highlights and a clip from White speaking on Numragomedov:

White on Nurmagomedov’s current status: “Well, like I said, I thought that you know in his last fight, his father had passed away. He had been through a lot. He had been away from his family during that time, got injured while he was training, and I thought that he made an emotional decision. There was no reason to make a hasty decision like that then. We didn’t have to. I talked to him. I told him to take his time, we would get together later on, last night, we did. And basically, the way that he feels right now is, he’s accomplished everything that he wanted to accomplish.”

“He thought that [Charles] Oliveira looked really good in his last fight against Tony Ferguson. So next Saturday, we got the [Conor] McGregor and [Dustin] Poirier fight and [Michael] Chandler and [Dan] Hooker on there. So his words to me were, ‘I’m going to watch this fight.’ He said, ‘I would never tie up the division. I would never tie up the division, hold the belt and keep the belt away from anybody else. These guys do something spectacular, show me something spectacular, and make me want to come back and fight. So, I have the feeling if somebody delivers, it could be on the main event or the co-main event, and like I said, he thought Oliveira looked good. … If these guys can do something special, Khabib will fight them.”

On Nurmagomedov still having that competitive itch: “I think so. He’s the best in the world right now. His best performance was against Gaethje with all that stuff going on. He just needed some time to clear his head, and these guys do what I think they’re going to do next weekend, sounds like he might be interested in fighting one of them.”