Khabib Nurmagomedov’s Final Decision Could Boil Down To UFC 257 Performances

Khabib Nurmagomedov’s status remains up in the air.

Back in October 2020, Nurmagomedov put the UFC Lightweight Championship on the line against Justin Gaethje. The title fight was held on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi. “The Eagle” turned in a brilliant performance, chocking out Gaethje in the second round via triangle choke.

After the fight, Nurmagomedov took off his gloves and told UFC play-by-play ace Jon Anik that he had just fought for the final time in his pro MMA career. Nurmagomedov cited his mother’s request to hang up the gloves.

UFC President Dana White made efforts to keep “The Eagle” around. Nurmagomedov remained the UFC 155-pound titleholder and he hadn’t exited the USADA testing pool.

White recently had a meeting with Nurmagomedov behind closed doors. Following that meeting, the UFC boss revealed that an announcement would be made at the top of the UFC Fight Island 7 broadcast on ABC. He said the announcement would also impact the highly-anticipated rematch between Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier, set for UFC 257 on January 23.

It turns out the door is open just a crack on a return for Nurmagomedov.

White told Jon Anik that Nurmagomedov said if the winners of McGregor vs. Poirier II and Michael Chandler vs. Dan Hooker can have spectacular performances, it may give him the itch to step back inside the Octagon. “The Eagle” also mentioned Charles Oliveira potentially being in play. As it stands right now, Nurmagomedov remains the UFC Lightweight Champion but a decision will have to come after UFC 257.

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