Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) president Dana White says Khabib Nurmagomedov can’t sit out until October with his lightweight gold.
Nurmagomedov was handed a suspension from the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) for his role in the UFC 229 brawl. While he was given a nine-month sanction retroactive to Oct. 6, he can cut the time to six months if he does an anti-bullying PSA. Nurmagomedov has made it clear, however, that he doesn’t plan to return until the suspensions of his teammates Abubakar Nurmagomedov and Zubaira Tukhugov are up. Abubakar and Tukhugov won’t be able to return until October.
Dana White Responds To Khabib’s Plan
White spoke to reporters during the UFC 234 post-fight press conference. The UFC president said that Nurmagomedov’s plan would force the UFC to move on in the 155-pound division (via Damon Martin):
“Guys can’t sit out and wait that long when you have the title. You can’t do it. So if that’s true and he’s going to do that, then we’d have to figure out something else and you start looking at whether it’s Conor McGregor and Tony Ferguson or one of these other guys. Whoever wants to, when opportunity knocks, answer the door. We’ll see how this thing plays out.”
The good news for the UFC is that if they decide to move forward without “The Eagle,” they aren’t short of elite lightweights. There’s Tony Ferguson, Dustin Poirer, and Conor McGregor to name a few. Time will tell if the promotion has to go down that road.
Do you think Khabib Nurmagomedov will return sooner than he wants to?