UFC

Khabib considering UFC return but GSP not an option

By Sports Desk January 17, 2021

Khabib Nurmagomedov could be tempted to make a comeback if a lightweight rival impresses him at UFC 257, Dana White has revealed. 

The undefeated Khabib announced his retirement after beating Justin Gaethje to unify the lightweight division at UFC 254 last year, his first outing since the death of his father and coach Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov.

However, White raised the prospect that the Russian may return for one more bout - if he likes what he sees out of a potential opponent next week. 

That includes former foes Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier, who meet in the main event on Fight Island. Dan Hooker and Michael Chandler do battle on the same bill, with the winner potentially coming under consideration. 

Charles Oliveira is also an option, having apparently grabbed Khabib's attention during his victory over Tony Ferguson at UFC 256 in December. 

"The thing with him is, when you make the decision to retire, I knew he made the decision under unbelievable emotional stress," White told the media after Max Holloway's victory over Calvin Kattar in Abu Dhabi. 

"His dad had died, he got hurt during that camp and couldn't train right, couldn't cut weight right. All the things he went through and then he went out and performed how he performed, then made that decision that night.  

"Listen, you're not tying anything up. Go home, spend some time with your family. Heal up, think about it. 

"Then he and I got together, and he said: 'I want to see if somebody really blows me away and impresses me next week'. 

"You've got the co-main event and the main event, while Oliveira looked awesome against Tony Ferguson - that's an interesting fight for him. 

"We will see what these guys do this weekend. I think it's fun - do you guys not want to see Khabib fight again? Hopefully, he sticks around and does one more." 

However, White made clear that Georges St-Pierre is not on the shortlist of potential opponents. 

"No, GSP never came up. He's not interested in that fight and, from what I hear today, neither is GSP. That's over," he said.

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