Khabib Nurmagomedov would need to vacate title to fight GSP, says Dana White

Khabib Nurmagomedov, Dustin Poirier
Image via @ufc on Instagram

UFC President Dana White says Khabib Nurmagomedov will need to vacate the UFC lightweight title if he wants to fight Georges St-Pierre.

Nurmagomedov retired after his last fight, a submission win over Justin Gaethje, but White has been adamant that he’ll attempt to bring the undefeated Russian back for one more fight before all is said and done.

Nurmagomedov and White actually met in Abu Dhabi to discuss that possibility today, but the details of their meeting are still a mystery.

Whatever the case, White has made no secret of his hope that the lightweight champ will fight again, potentially against Conor McGregor or Charles Oliveira.

“Here’s the thing,” White told Farah Hannoun of UFC Arabia ahead of his meeting with Nurmagomedov. “The last time he fought here [against Gaethje], he was under tremendous pressure physically, mentally, emotionally. His Dad had just died, and I don’t think that anybody should make a decision that big with what he was dealing with. He’s had time not to go home and heal, spend time with family, think about a lot of things, so this is just going to be a real easy conversation. Just yes or no.

“I mean [a rematch with] Conor McGregor is a no-brainer if he wins the fight [with Dustin Poirier at UFC 257],” White added. “[Charles] Oliveira is out there now. There’s guys out there that are big fights, good fights… fights that make sense for him. It just depends where his head’s at and what he wants to do.”

While White likes fights with McGregor and Oliveira for Nurmagomedov, the champ himself has long expressed a desire to fight Georges St-Pierre, who is also retired.

White was noncommittal on that possibility, but stated that Nurmagomedov would have to vacate his title to fight the Canadian MMA legend.

“I don’t know,” White said of a fight between Nurmagomedov and St-Pierre. “I think that if he wanted to fight Georges St-Pierre, you have him give up the title, and him and Georges St-Pierre fight.”

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