Many have wondered when Nurmagomedov will return to the Octagon. Plans to get back to action as soon as July were dashed when his father’s health deteriorated. He was then said to prepare for a September return but once his father passed away, things became unclear.
Khabib vs. Gaethje set for Oct. 24
CNN spoke to White, who said that Nurmagomedov was hit hard by the death of Abdulmanap.
“It’s been very rough on him,” White told CNN Sport’s Don Riddell. “His father was a hero to him, he loved his father, they had a very close relationship and it was very hard on him.”
The UFC boss went on to break some news. He announced that the UFC lightweight title unification bout between champion Khabib and interim title holder Gaethje will happen on Oct. 24.
“It’s going to happen, tell you right here right now. That fight is going to happen,” he said. “Khabib vs. Gaethje, October 24th.”
Nurmagomedov hasn’t competed since Sept. 2019. He submitted Dustin Poirier in the second round to retain his 155-pound gold. Gaethje is coming off a fifth-round TKO win over Tony Ferguson to become the interim lightweight champion.
Up to this point, Nurmagomedov has a perfect pro MMA record of 28-0. He’s beaten the likes of Conor McGregor, Poirier, Rafael dos Anjos, and Al Iaquinta to name a few.
As for Gaethje, he’s riding a four-fight winning streak. He’s finished all of his opponents via knockout or TKO in that span. His victims include Ferguson, Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone, Edson Barboza, and James Vick.