UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov is expected to return and defend his title in September.
That’s according to UFC president Dana White, who addressed the undefeated Russian this week during an appearance on the “UFC Unfiltered” podcast.
Nurmagomedov last fought in October 2018 when he dispatched Conor McGregor by fourth round rear naked choke to move his record to 27-0 in his career with the first defense of his lightweight championship.
Following the fight, Nurmagomedov leapt over the cage to go after one of McGregor’s teammate and that decision cost him a $500,000 fine and a nine-month suspension courtesy of the Nevada State Athletic Commission.
The suspension will expire in July but Nurmagomedov is expected to return in September.
“He’ll be back in September,” White stated. “It’s one of the things with him anyways, he’s on suspension and then he doesn’t fight during Ramadan. That puts him at September.”
Nurmagomedov has always avoided fighting during the summer months in observation of Ramadan, which runs from May 5 to June 4 this year.
Obviously there is a lot of time between now and the September date when Nurmagomedov is expected to return but it’s most likely he’ll be facing the winner of the upcoming interim title fight between featherweight champion Max Holloway and Dustin Poirier.
They face off in the main event at UFC 236 on April 13 and it’s expected that the winner will then go onto a unification bout against Nurmagomedov.