Dana White Says Khabib Told Him He Won’t Hold Up UFC Lightweight Division

UFC President Dana White says Khabib Nurmagomedov will not hold up the lightweight division.

Back in October 2020, Nurmagomedov announced his retirement from the sport of MMA. He did so after successfully retaining the UFC Lightweight Championship by submitting Justin Gaethje in the second round. “The Eagle” cited his mother as the reason for his decision to hang up his gloves.

White was adamant in his belief that Nurmagomedov jumped the gun due to the heat of the moment. He revealed that Nurmagomedov told him during a meeting that his final decision could boil down to the performances of the 155-pounders at UFC 257 on January 23.

During an appearance on The Jim Rome Show, White said Khabib doesn’t want to stall the lightweight title picture.

“I just feel like he decided to retire under a ton of pressure. His dad just died, he didn’t spend time with his family cause he was in camp, he got injured and had a hard time cutting the weight because of the injury. [He] goes in, fights the fight and I think he made an emotional decision.

“So we’ll see how this thing plays out this weekend. He’s coming out to Vegas and he and I are gonna go to dinner and he said, ‘the one thing I won’t do is I’ll never hold up the division. So if I decide that I’m not gonna fight one of these guys, I’m retired and the belt can move on.”

UFC 257 will be headlined by a lightweight clash between Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier. This will be a rematch from their September 2014 bout, which McGregor won via first-round TKO. The co-main event will also feature a 155-pound tilt between Dan Hooker and former three-time Bellator Lightweight Champion Michael Chandler.

FIGHT SPORTS will be providing live coverage of UFC 257 on fight night.

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