Dana White says it would be unfair for Khabib Nurmagomedov to be suspended more than a year

Khabib Nurmagomedov, Dana White

Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor are both currently under suspension from the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC), this for the melee that occurred after UFC 229. A final hearing to determine their punishments is set for December 10.

What the NSAC plans to do remains a mystery. The most extreme punishment would be to strip both fighters of their respective licenses, this in addition to issuing fines and lengthy suspensions. Ultimately, that seems unlikely to happen.

UFC President Dana White appears has no idea what form of punishment the NSAC plans on dealing out to “The Eagle” and “Mystic Mac”, but he does think anything over a year in terms of suspensions would be unfair.

“I can’t see them giving Khabib over a year,” White said in a post-fight scrum. “If it’s over a year, c’mon man. That would not be fair. The whole thing was over in 40 seconds, nobody got touched, nobody got hurt. Nothing happened. I think that the commission has to send a message and I hope it’s not over a year. I don’t think that would be fair.”

Although the NSAC has yet to make their official ruling, Dana White is already weighing his options for the lightweight division. If the brash UFC boss has his way, current UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov will at last take on Tony Ferguson. As for Conor McGregor, Dana White is hoping to book the Irish star in a rematch with Dustin Poirier. Ultimately, the winners of those two proposed fights would eventually face off. Although that is the UFC President’s plan, nothing can be booked until the punishments are handed down. For now, Dana White has to book fighters that are available.

“I have a job to do,” White said. “I’ve got to make fights, no matter who’s here and who’s not. I have to make fights, so I will continue to make fights until we find out what the suspensions are and then when the suspensions are laid down, I will still continue to make fights until they come back.”

If Nurmagomedov does indeed get suspended for a year, there is a legitimate possibility that he would be stripped or an interim belt would be created. The hope is the suspension isn’t a year, and the division can move on.

This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 12/1/2018.