Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Dana White Changes Tone On Upcoming Meeting With Khabib

Dana White’s strategy to lure Khabib has gone from aggressive to passive based on recent comments from the UFC president.

There is no meeting that has been discussed more in the history of MMA than the upcoming tête-à-tête between UFC president Dana White and lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov. Ever since Khabib Nurmagomedov retired after his victory over Justin Gaethje at UFC 254, talk of the meeting between White and Nurmagomedov has continued to circulate ad nauseam.

The stakes of the meeting are clear: either Nurmagomedov’s retirement is affirmed and the lightweight championship is thus vacated or Dana White is able to persuade the 29-0 champion to pursue 30-0. White has recently said that he plans to press Khabib as hard as he can in the meeting, but speaking to MMA Junkie Wednesday, White’s tone shifted drastically, now stating that his meeting with Khabib will be tantamount to a yes or no question.

“It’s going to be a five-minute conversation,” White said. “It’s yes or no. It’s yes or no.

UFC 254: Khabib Nurmagomedov Announces Retirement After Defeating Justin  Gaethje | Sports News | UFC News
Khabib retires after defeating Justin Gaethje at UFC 254. Photo Credit: UFC/YouTube

“When I left Abu Dhabi last time, and he and I were texting, we went back and forth on why I think he should keep fighting,” White said. “He was super emotional coming out of that fight. He’s had time now to rest, think about it, (and) all the other things. This is going to be a five-minute conversation. … I think he’ll fight, but we’ll see. It’s not going to be an argument or a lengthy conversation. It’s going to be a ‘yes’ or ‘no.’”

A ”yes or a no” seems to be a bit of an oversimplification for such a long-anticipated meeting that carries such heavy stakes, and if that is truly Dana White’s attitude, then everyone should fully brace for Khabib’s retirement to be solidified. But perhaps White is privy to something he is not disclosing because he remains confident that Khabib will fight again without a big sell from him despite all public indications from the lightweight champion saying otherwise.

What do you think will be the outcome of the meeting between Dana White and Khabib Nurmagomedov?