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.

UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov said he only wants to face Georges St-Pierre after his showdown against Justin Gaethje.

Unbeaten Russian star Khabib (28-0) will step into the octagon with interim champion Gaethje (22-2) at UFC 254 in Abu Dhabi on Saturday.

Leading into the fight, St-Pierre has talked up a possible blockbuster bout against Khabib if he decided to return to the sport.

Former welterweight and middleweight champion St-Pierre – regarded as one of the all-time greats – has not fought since his win over Michael Bisping at UFC 217 in 2017.

Preparing to defend his perfect UFC record, Khabib was asked about the 39-year-old and he told ESPN: "I really become excited when I think about Georges St-Pierre.

"I don't know if he wants to fight with me or not, can he make weight -- 155 or not -- but this fight makes me excited, honestly.

"And I think me vs. Georges is going to be very, very big fight. Like big fight for fans, big fight for pay-per-view, big fight for analytics, for everybody.

"This is only fight in UFC, after Gaethje, that makes me very excited."

Khabib dismissed the possibility of facing Conor McGregor or Dustin Poirier following his Gaethje meeting.

There has been speculation Khabib – who beat Poirier in 2019 after submitting McGregor in 2018 – could go head-to-head with the winner of the January 23 clash.

"I finished both of them, and finished in dominant position, a dominant performance," Khabib said. "And I'm not interested in both of those guys, because I need something new. I need new blood, new energy.

"Justin Gaethje gives me new motivation. He's the real deal. Right now, he's interim champ, he's very tough guy.

"If I think about both, Dustin and Conor, they don't give me good energy, they don't give me motivation. Fight for what? For my legacy? I already put these guys on my list. I already beat them. Everything is finished with these guys."

Georges St-Pierre said he would only fight unbeaten star Khabib Nurmagomedov if the UFC great decided to return to the Octagon.

Former welterweight and middleweight champion St-Pierre – regarded as one of the all-time greats – has not fought since his win over Michael Bisping at UFC 217 in 2017.

But the 39-year-old Canadian left the door slightly ajar for a UFC return as lightweight champion Khabib prepares to face Justin Gaethje at UFC 254 on October 24.

"I believe Khabib right now, he's the best fighter in the UFC. He's the best guy right now. He's undefeated; nobody has beat him. He has this aura of invincibility," St-Pierre told ESPN.

"What is the most scariest thing for a fighter, but also the most exciting, is to fight someone who seems unbeatable. If I ever considered to come back, that would be the fight I would be interested in because of that reason.

"I have a mixed feeling about it. Three years ago, after my fight with Michael Bisping, I was all in. We try to make it happen. Now things have changed. The stars need to be aligned. Three years ago, I was even willing to go down to 155. I was back. I was active. Now it's tough.

"There is always a way to work things out, but the stars need to be aligned for me in order to make that [fight] work. Three years ago, I was very flexible, now I'm not really. I'm good where I am. I'm a big fan of Khabib.

"The chances [of me fighting Khabib] are very low. I highly, highly doubt it. It's not because of Khabib; I believe it's because of the UFC. We tried three years ago. Three years ago, we were very flexible. We tried everything and it didn't work three years ago. So I don't see why it would work now.

"I run away with the 170. I run away with the 185. They surely don't want me to come back and beat their undefeated champion and run away again. So I think for business purpose, it's a big risk to take. I don't think they're willing to do it."

Meanwhile, lightweight star Tony Ferguson wants to fight in 2020 after he lost to Gaethje in their interim title bout at UFC 249 in May.

Ferguson had won 12 successive fights, dating back to 2012, before falling to Gaethje earlier this year.

"I will be competing," Ferguson said. "People will see me, one way or another, being active."

"I got [welterweight] and I've got the frame to go up to [middleweight]," he said. "I like to go out there and compete. Everybody forgets that I used to knock everybody out at 170."

Khabib Nurmagomedov branded Conor McGregor the "greatest UFC fighter in Twitter history" in response to his rival's GOAT list posted on social media.

Former UFC featherweight and lightweight champion McGregor revealed his top four on Saturday, putting Anderson Silva at number one but making clear the Brazilian has some stiff competition to be considered the greatest - from the Irishman himself, of course.

"My array of finishes, across 3 divisions, with champion status in 2, I'm No.2. If not tied 1," McGregor wrote on Twitter. "However [I'm] still active, No.1 is fully secured by career end. And easily."

Georges St-Pierre and Jon Jones also made the list, but there was no place for undefeated lightweight champion Khabib.

Asked to explain the Russian's absence, McGregor replied: "Fancy record but a way to go before any GOAT entry.

"Only HL [highlight] is win over me with hangover and broken foot. Other than that, made Iaquinta's career with bad performance before Cerrone ended it again. 3rds to get Poirier out. 0 array of finishes. Bottled many bouts. Zero else of note."

Khabib, who defeated McGregor by submission at UFC 229 in 2018, countered with a tweet of his own, pointing out what he perceives to be fundamental flaws in McGregor's own case.

"You tapped out in featherweight, you tapped out in lightweight and you tapped in welterweight," Khabib wrote.

"You never defended title in the UFC or Cage Warriors, you gave up more than GSP, Spider and Bones all together. You greatest UFC fighter in Twitter history."

Jones also got involved in the debate, putting up a list of fighters to have the most wins in UFC title bouts - with McGregor obviously not among them - along with the comment: "Goat where you at."

The light-heavyweight champion also later quote-tweeted Khabib's post, adding: "Like I said I’ll let the fans do the debating for me, thanks Khabib."

Conor McGregor believes Anderson Silva is the greatest MMA fighter of all time but expects to surpass the Brazilian by the end of his career.

Former UFC featherweight and lightweight champion McGregor explained who he considers to be the best to have stepped into the Octagon.

The outspoken Irishman ranked himself second to former middleweight king Silva, though he clarified he would be top of the list if failed drug tests were taken into account.

McGregor also included former welterweight and middleweight champion Georges St-Pierre and light-heavyweight title-holder Jon Jones in his rankings.

He posted on Twitter: "The array of finishes, across 2 divisions, with champion status in 1, Anderson Silva is No.1 MMA GOAT.

"My array of finishes, across 3 divisions, with champion status in 2, I'm No.2. If not tied 1.

"However [I'm] still active, No.1 is fully secured by career end. And easily.

"GSP [St-Pierre] is in at 3. Much less array of finishes but champion status in 2. He is far behind though. Reasons = Left 170[lb division] after much damage taken + questionable decision. Never re-engaged 170lb successors. Bottled Anderson fight. Only moved [to middleweight] when one-eyed fighter [Michael Bisping] presented. Played safe.

"Jon is 4. Maybe tied 3. More array of finishes than 3 and still active, but champion status in just 1. Reasons = Multiple lacklustre decision performances + questionable decision win. Attempting to safe play HW [heavyweight] entry/avoiding its champion."

McGregor added: "I didn't mentions PED results on multiple entrants, even though that makes me the clear current No.1 MMA GOAT, along with still being active.

"Although it shames, as well as puts all runs+finishes in complete doubt, I've snored multiple juice heads. A true GOAT must do it all.

"Clarity on Silva's earlier no.1 spot. Most stylistic finishes on resume. Front kicks to face. Up elbow (albeit outside UFC) Thai plum knees leading to broken facial bones. Long list of jaw dropping finishes. Myself/Anderson have the most exciting/important finishes in the sport!

"One more on George/Jon decision that will clear why I originally gave George 3 and Jon 4 before a maybe tied 3. A lot of Jon's opponents were Anderson's 185lb opponents but the array of stoppages were not there, or nowhere near Anderson's despite the weight advantage to do so."

Former two-weight champion Georges St-Pierre is to be inducted into the Modern Wing of the UFC Hall of Fame.

Considered as one of the greatest of all time, it was announced during UFC 249 that St-Pierre's accomplishments are to be recognised with his entry to the 2020 class.

The Canadian, a welterweight champion who also won the middleweight strap in his last UFC fight against Michael Bisping in November 2017, recorded 13 title-fight victories – the second most in the organisation's history.

St-Pierre, who has a 26-2 MMA record, also owns the the most takedowns (90) and total strikes (2591) landed in UFC.

"It's a great honour to be inducted to the UFC Hall of Fame," St-Pierre said. 

"I want to thank Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta, Dana White and the entire UFC team, my family, my coaches and team-mates, my past collaborators, my opponents and of course, all UFC fans. 

"It's been an amazing journey, without them none of this would have been possible."

St-Pierre first became welterweight champion when he defeated Matt Hughes at UFC 65 in November 2006.

He dropped the belt to Matt Serra in his first defence but regained the title in December 2007 and held it until he vacated the strap six years later.

As well as Hughes and Bisping, St-Pierre also claimed wins over the likes of B.J. Penn, Nick Diaz and Johny Hendricks in a distinguished career.

Georges St-Pierre understands why UFC were reluctant to grant him a mouth-watering bout with Khabib Nurmagomedov and said it would take a "180-degree turnaround" to convince him to fight again.

It has been almost two and a half years since GSP last fought in the Octagon when he defeated Michael Bisping to win the middleweight title.

Just 34 days later the Canadian had vacated the belt, which perhaps explains the company's reluctance to push ahead with a bout with lightweight champion Khabib.

St-Pierre, who last year announced his retirement, pushed for a fight fans have been clamouring for but says he can see it from the viewpoint of UFC.

"For me, it was because I considered Khabib right now the best fighter in the world," he told ESPN. "And he wanted to fight me as well. So, I thought it was a good fan fight.

"It you look on the UFC's side, if I put myself in their shoes, they didn't want to take the risk of me winning the title and then vacating again."

A fight did not materialise, so is that it for GSP?

"It would take a 180-degree turnaround," he said. "I'm the happiest man in the world. An athlete has a window. You want to retire from the sport. You don't want the sport retiring you."

GSP is a candidate to be considered the greatest of all time given his 26-2 record and the fact that he has won titles in two divisions, so it may surprise many to hear he approached each fight with fear.

Recalling his work with a sports psychologist to alter that mindset, GSP added: "[He said] 'You're not scared, you're excited.' I'm like, 'Dude, I'm excited if I haven't eaten for three days, and I know I'm about to eat my favourite dish. I'm excited if I'm seeing a beautiful, naked woman. I'm excited if it's minus-15 in Montreal, and I know that next week I'm going on vacation to a beach in a warm, exotic place. I'm not excited to go fight in a cage against another psychopath that's going to try to kill me and maybe I'm going to be humiliated. I'm not excited about that. I'm scared.'"

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