Ali Abdelaziz claims that Khabib Nurmagomedov will return to action before the end of 2020.
Nurmagomedov is mourning the loss of his father, Abdulmanap. The UFC lightweight champion had plans to return to the Octagon as soon as July but the state of his father’s health before his death put a halt to that. Before Abdulmanap passed away, Khabib was targeting a September return. While UFC president Dana White says the September date isn’t out of the question, he doesn’t plan to rush things.
Manager Claims Khabib vs. Gaethje Will Happen Before 2020 Ends
Speaking to TMZ Sports, Abdelaziz, who manages both Nurmagomedov and Gaethje, said that “The Eagle” will be back in action before the end of 2020 (h/t MMAFighting).
“Khabib is not retiring,” Abdelaziz said. “Khabib has some goals, he has some things he wants to accomplish. You will see him before the end of the year. Now him and Dana (are) talking and me talking to the matchmakers and we’ll try to set a date. I’m sure Dana is gonna let everybody know when Khabib is gonna fight.
“We have a blockbuster main event, him versus Justin Gaethje, two of the best lightweights in the world today and the recent era. We see what Khabib does to all his opponents. We see what Justin Gaethje did his last four opponents. He dismantled Tony Ferguson. He made him look like an absolute amateur and that’s the best two guys in the world. They’re gonna fight.”
Nurmagomedov hasn’t been in action since Sept. 2019. He submitted Dustin Poirier for his second successful UFC lightweight title defense. He was supposed to meet Tony Ferguson at UFC 249 but travel issues due to the coronavirus pandemic put a stop to that plan. Khabib insisted he could’ve traveled out of Russia for the fight but the UFC moved on to Ferguson vs. Gaethje.
Gaethje made the most of his opportunity. He snapped the 12-fight winning streak of “El Cucuy.” Gaethje scored the fifth-round TKO victory. It was Ferguson’s first loss since May 2012.