UFC president Dana White says it’s still possible Khabib Nurmagomedov fights in September following the death of his father Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov.
Nurmagomedov, the UFC lightweight champion, is set to take on interim champ Justin Gaethje at UFC 253 on September 19. However, after his father passed away recently after a battle with COVID-19, many fans and media members speculated that the fight could be pushed back to a later date to give Nurmagomedov time to mourn his father’s passing.
However, according to White, that’s not necessarily the case. While White isn’t committing to that September 19 date anymore, he says there’s still a chance that Nurmagomedov vs. Gaethje could happen as scheduled.
“I don’t think it’s off the table,” White told the media at Fight Island on Tuesday. “I’m just waiting to hear from him.”
White said that he is leaving Nurmagomedov alone right now to mourn and be with his family and that when the champ wants to talk to him, he’ll be ready to take his phone call. Until then, White says the UFC matchmakers plan on leaving “The Eagle” alone.
“No, I’m not messing with Khabib. I’m leaving him alone until he’s ready to talk and I’m letting him mourn and do what he has to do. I reached out to him the day of and I haven’t heard back from him since,” Dana White said.
Nurmagomedov last fought at UFC 242 last September when he defeated Dustin Poirier via third-round submission to defend the UFC lightweight title for the second time. All in all, the Russian is a perfect 28-0 in MMA including a perfect 12-0 mark inside the Octagon. He also holds notable wins over Conor McGregor, Edson Barboza, and Rafael dos Anjos.
Do you think Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Justin Gaethje will take place at UFC 253 in September as currently scheduled?