Khabib Pushes Up Projected Return Date

UFC 223 Medical Suspensions
Image Credit: Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

We may be seeing the undefeated Khabib Nurmagomedov return to the Octagon sooner than originally projected.

Following his UFC 223 unanimous decision victory over Al Iaquinta, Khabib stated that he was eyeing a return to competition in November or December of this year. Since then, indicators of a potential showdown with former lightweight champion Conor McGregor have begun to mount, with Dana White acknowledging that should Conor McGregor clear his legal hurdles next month, that would be the fight to make. Today, in a live chat with fans on LiveRaise, Khabib pushed up his projected return date, much to the delight of MMA fans around the world,

“I don’t know when it’s going to be. Now we’ll talk about this with the UFC. It’s going to be maybe [September 9] or [October 6]. I don’t know about opponent — Conor [McGregor], GSP (Georges St-Pierre), whoever. It doesn’t matter, we’ll see.

“Next couple of weeks it’s going to be very fun because now we’re beginning to talk about my next fight with the UFC.”

In his post-fight interview with Joe Rogan after his UFC 223 victory, Khabib did not call out Conor McGregor but instead took the opportunity to call out Georges St. Pierre. Khabib would explain the callout during the FOX UFC 223 post-fight show:

“St-Pierre is the greatest athlete to ever compete in the UFC,” he said. “I’m a very big fan of his.”

Khabib would then detail how he would watch GSP as an adolescent, admiring his greatness. And now, as an adult, fate has made it to where he can get a much closer view of his idol:

“Can you imagine this? He’s here and now we can fight,” he said. “Why not? If you can make it, let’s go to New York.”

It looks like Khabib will not be going to New York after all, but either to the T-Mobile Arena for UFC 229 in October or at a venue to be determined for UFC 228. Keep it locked in to as this story develops, as there are very interesting times ahead in the lightweight division.

Whom would you rather see Khabib fight next? Conor McGregor or Georges St. Pierre?