Khabib and Dana White to meet one final time after UFC 257 in Las Vegas

This weekend, Dana White and UFC lightweight champion, Khabib Nurmagomedov (29-0), had their much anticipated meeting. The world was expecting a final resolution after the meeting. White teased that an announcement would be made at UFC Fight Island 7.

Well, White did announce the results of that conversation yesterday. However, in the end, nothing new came of it. According to White, Khabib is going to sit back and watch UFC 257 and see if any of the four top lightweights competing entices him to come back.

Khabib has apparently told White that he doesn’t want to tie up the division. He apparently has been very impressed with Charles Oliveira (30-8, 1 NC) as of late, but he’s still not 100% sure he will come back. He’s looking for something that excites him to make him come back.

While that’s certainly not a yes, the more important thing is that it’s not a no. With Khabib telling White that he’ll sit back and wait, you can tell that the UFC lightweight champion is still interested in competing. Otherwise, he wouldn’t think twice about UFC 257 next weekend.

UFC’s plan with Khabib

Dana White told the media at the UFC Fight Island 7 post-fight press conference that Khabib is leaving Fight Island after the Wednesday card. However, he’s not flying home to Russia, but instead, he’s flying to Las Vegas.

After the UFC’s current stint on Fight Island wraps up, White will be returning to Las Vegas as well. White said that the current plan is for him and Khabib to meet up for dinner after he returns home from Fight Island.

Apparently, that is the meeting where the final decision will be made. After next weekend, Khabib will decide whether there are any challenges left for him in the UFC that interest him. If so, he’ll come back to defend the title. If not, he will vacate the title for the division to move on.

It’s not a secret, but the desire for the UFC is to have Khabib defend his title in a rematch against Conor McGregor (22-4). McGregor of course headlines UFC 257 against Dustin Poirier (26-6, 1 NC). Should McGregor win, that will be the fight the UFC pushes for. It’ll be interesting to see if Khabib is interested.

Khabib Nurmagomedov will come back if someone does something special at UFC 257

Back in October after UFC 254, lightweight champion, Khabib Nurmagomedov (29-0) laid down his gloves and retired. It had been an incredibly tough 2020 for Khabib in which he lost his father to a battle with COVID-19. 

Khabib had promised his mother before the Justin Gaethje fight that he would retire after UFC 254. However, Dana White has been holding out hope that Khabib Nurmagomedov would change his mind and come back for one more fight. 

The original plan for Khabib was to try and retire from the UFC at 30-0. That was his father’s plan, but Khabib admitted that he didn’t want to go on without his father in his corner. Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov was the lead trainer for his son Khabib.

There is no questioning that Khabib Nurmagomedov is the best lightweight in the world. He’s an absolute animal who just appears to be getting better every time we see him. From a fighting perspective, it would be a shame to never see Khabib in the UFC again.

That is where Dana White has been coming from in wanting him to fight. Well, yesterday White and Khabib had their much anticipated meeting about Khabib’s future. After the first fight on the main card at UFC Fight Island 7, White announced Khabib’s decision.

The decision’s impact on the UFC lightweight division

White told Jon Anik that Khabib is going to wait until after UFC 257 to make a final decision. Khabib is not ready to close the door on his fighting future, however, he’s not ready to commit to a comeback just yet.

White said that Khabib will be watching next Saturday and if he feels that someone does something special, he’ll think about coming back to defend his UFC title. However, if nothing excites him, he won’t hold up the division and he will give up the title.

The Conor McGregor (22-4) rematch is what the UFC wants to do. However, McGregor has to get by Dustin Poirier first. For now, the decision really didn’t give us anything new. We know that Khabib is not fully committed to retirement, but at the same time, he’s not committed to coming back yet.

UFC: Conor McGregor wants to have a run at lightweight

Conor McGregor, UFC

The biggest combat sports star in the world will make his return next Saturday. The UFC‘s first champ-champ, Conor McGregor (22-4), will be fighting for the first time since he knocked out Donald Cerrone in 40 seconds at UFC 246.

McGregor will be taking on Dustin Poirier (26-6, 1 NC) in a rematch from UFC 178. That night, McGregor stopped Poirier in the first few minutes in a fight that showed the world that Conor McGregor was the real deal.

Fast forward more than six years later and both men are in drastically different spots. McGregor became a two-division world champion and he’s even boxed Floyd Mayweather. Meanwhile Poirier rose to the top of lightweight and became the interim champion.

Going into UFC 257, it’s safe to say that both men are at their peaks. I think we are probably going to see the best versions of Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier when they fight next weekend.

The one thing that’s been pointed out about McGregor leading up to this fight is his mentality. When McGregor appears fully focused, he might be the best fighter in the world. However, outside distractions have sometimes hindered his performance in the cage.

There has been a lot of speculation about what will be next for McGregor should he win at UFC 257. Will he box Manny Pacquiao? Will he stay at lightweight? Or will he pursue welterweight superfights? McGregor told The Mac Life his plans earlier this morning.

McGregor wants a UFC title run at lightweight

“I never got a good stint at 155 pounds. A consecutive stint as I did in the featherweight division. I would like to do it the same in the lightweight division as I did in the featherweight division. Give it a good run and tear through the division,” McGregor said.

This has to be music to the ears to everyone at the UFC. There would be nothing better for their business than having McGregor go on a run in the lightweight division. McGregor appears to be fully committed to that or at least he’s appearing that way as of now.

Conor McGregor also discussed his fellow competitors at lightweight and said that there’s many great competitors that he wants to fight. He also mentioned being very interested in the trilogy with Nate Diaz (20-12) at some point in the lightweight division.

Dustin Poirier wants a war with Conor McGregor at UFC 257

We are just about a week away from UFC 257. The highly anticipated PPV is being headlined by the rematch between Conor McGregor (22-4) and Dustin Poirier (26-6, 1 NC). The first fight took place at UFC 178 back in 2014.

That night, McGregor knocked out Poirier in the first few minutes of their fight. It was a massive statement on McGregor’s meteoric rise to the top of the combat sports world. Both men are in much different places six years later.

McGregor is fighting for the first time since UFC 246 last January. That night, McGregor stopped Donald Cerrone in 40 seconds. The former two-division UFC champion is promising another finish in under a minute at UFC 257.

However, Dustin Poirier has different plans. The Diamond is not wanting this fight to end with a clean knockout one way or the other. Instead, Poirier is wanting both of them to be badly hurt so they have to dig down deep.

Poirier told Theo Von recently, “What I want is for both of us to be dripping blood and hurting early in the fight. I want both of us to be bleeding and really have to dig down deep to see who’s the better fighter.”

Will UFC 257 be a war?

Words cannot express how excited I am for this rematch. Both of these men are so much better than they were six years ago when they fought the first time. It’ll be very interesting to see if Poirier’s improvements can push him past McGregor.

Based on what Poirier’s saying, you can tell he’s taking a slight jab at McGregor. Poirier has been in real trouble in fights and has had to dig down deep to win. That’s why he later said he beats McGregor ten times out of ten if the fight gets tough.

However, it is worth noting that the UFC’s first champ-champ hasn’t always had it easy. McGregor was hurt by both Khabib Nurmagomedov and Nate Diaz in their fights. McGregor did better than anyone in terms of fighting Khabib going off recent history which includes Poirier.

Conor McGregor’s biggest test came at UFC 202 when he fought Diaz for the second time. McGregor is a very fast starter and dropped Diaz a number of times early. However, Diaz didn’t go away and stormed back into the fight.

When it appeared that McGregor was on his way to losing again, he dug down deep and won the crucial fourth round. That round secured the decision for Conor McGregor in a fight he desperately needed to win.

We’ve seen Poirier come back from adversity more times than McGregor, but we know McGregor is capable. If this fight is truly a war, I think both are capable of digging down deep to find a win. I can’t wait to find out what happens next Saturday night.

Michael Chandler believes he will be the UFC lightweight champ this year

Michael Chandler

One of the biggest storylines for the UFC that came outside the actual octagon in 2020 was the promotion’s signing of Michael Chandler (21-5). The former Bellator lightweight champion finished his contract back in August.

After he knocked out Benson Henderson, Chandler was the hottest free agent in MMA. All of the big promotion’s were throwing money at him, however, there was one place he knew he wanted to be at.

Despite the UFC not offering the most money, Chandler signed with the biggest MMA promotion in the world. For Michael Chandler, signing with the UFC was more about his legacy and the competition over the money.

Chandler has made it very clear that he wants to prove that he’s one of the very best in the world. He served at the backup at UFC 254 if Khabib Nurmagomedov or Justin Gaethje would have fallen out of the main event.

Chandler showed up and made weight despite not being officially booked for a fight. He wanted to get the feel of being in the UFC and he wanted to meet everyone behind the scenes to get a sense of what it’s like.

After initially struggling to get him a fight, the promotion has booked Chandler for his debut at UFC 257. Chandler will be taking on top lightweight contender, Dan Hooker (20-9), in the co-main event of the evening.

Will Chandler become a UFC champion?

Michael Chandler recently sat down with MMA On Point where he talked about his journey in getting to UFC 257. He made it clear that he believes he will prove he’s the best in the world saying, “I truly believe I’m going to be the UFC Lightweight Champion this year.”

Defeating Dan Hooker would be a great first step for the former Bellator champion. However, even beating Dan Hooker isn’t likely to net Chandler a title fight right away. More than likely, he will have to win twice to get that shot at the title.

Granted, starting in January is a great thing for Michael Chandler and the UFC. Chandler has a desire to be active in 2021 and if he’s going to be champion, he’s going to have to fight three times this year.

Michael Chandler does have the skills to become a champion in the UFC. However, it’s going to be far from easy, but that’s his prime motivation. Chandler’s addition made the best division in the promotion even more exciting in 2021.

Dustin Poirier has signed a new eight-fight deal with the UFC

Next weekend at UFC 257, Dustin Poirier (26-6, 1 NC) will get the opportunity to avenge one of his biggest losses. In the headliner, Poirier will be taking on Conor McGregor (22-4) in a rematch from UFC 178.

The first fight that took place back in 2014 did not go well for Poirier. After a heated buildup, McGregor stopped Poirier in the first round. However, since that moment, Poirier has surged in his career.

Since the first loss to McGregor, Poirier has gone 10-2,1 NC in thirteen fights. The pinnacle of his rise came at UFC 236 when he defeated Max Holloway (21-6) to become the interim lightweight champion.

However, his interim reign didn’t last long as he was dominated by Khabib Nurmagomedov (29-0) at UFC 242 later that year. Still, Poirier is one of the very best in the world and he plans to show his improvement next Saturday.

Getting Poirier to this fight hasn’t been an easy thing. Originally, the promotion wanted Poirier to fight at UFC 254 in the co-headliner against Tony Ferguson (25-5). However, Poirier and the UFC couldn’t come to an agreement.

After they couldn’t come to an agreement on the money for the Ferguson fight, the promotion tried offering Poirier a fight with Michael Chandler (21-5). However, Poirier was still not good with the UFC‘s financial offer.

As a result, the talks fell apart and Poirier didn’t end up fighting. During this time, Conor McGregor was having his own issues with the promotion. With both men upset at the UFC, they talked online about having a charity match. That’s where things turned.

Charity Match to a New UFC Contract

McGregor and Poirier both agreed to an exhibition MMA match for charity that had nothing to do with the UFC. Of course, that is when the promotion decided to engage both men about fighting each other.

After a long negotiation, both sides came to a deal and the two are headlining UFC 257. However, it wasn’t just a one-off for Poirier. The Diamond revealed to Theo Von in a recent interview that he’s signed a new eight-fight deal with the promotion.

After all of the issues that Poirier was having with the promotion, it seems that everything has been ironed out. In the interview, Poirier even talked about a willingness to move up to welterweight eventually.

Poirier told Von, “I just signed an eight-fight contract with the UFC. My plan is to fight eight more times. I want to finish this contract I’m on, fight eight more times. Then we’ll see where we’re at there. But I’m not looking past that or before that.”

You can watch the entire interview below.

Charles Oliveira wants a UFC title shot next, not Justin Gaethje

A UFC lightweight who saw his stock soar in 2020 was “Do Bronx” Charles Oliveira (30-8, 1 NC). Oliveira has flown under the radar in the premium division in the promotion despite the winning streak he’s on.

Heading into 2020, Oliveira was riding a six-fight winning streak. Not only that, but he had finished all six opponents in those UFC contests. He started out 2020 by taking on Kevin Lee (18-6) back in March.

This event was actually the UFC‘s last event before they shut down due to the pandemic. Oliveira impressed again as he was able to score a third round submission victory over Kevin Lee. His seventh straight stoppage win in the lightweight division.

Then, Oliveira got the biggest fight of his career. A co-main event slot against El Cucuy, Tony Ferguson (25-5) at UFC 256. Ferguson was looking to bounce back after he had lost to Justin Gaethje (22-3) back in May.

Oliveira completely dominated the former UFC interim lightweight champion. Had Ferguson not been so tough, Oliveira would have scored another first round stoppage. He locked in a deep armbar that had me tapping from my chair at home.

Instead, Ferguson gutted it out and fought through it. However, Oliveira still dominated every second of the fight to make it eight straight. Last week, Dana White said that the UFC was looking to book Oliveira against Gaethje. Well, Oliveira is not a fan of that.

Do Bronx isn’t down with the UFC’s plan

Oliveira’s manager told MMA Fighting, “With all due respect, Khabib ran over (Gaethje). That must count, and a lot. I believe Charles’ next fight has to be for the belt against the winner of Poirier and McGregor, not Justin Gaethje.”

It was also revealed that Oliveira’s next fight will be the final fight in his UFC contract. However, Oliveira’s manager made it clear that Do Bronx isn’t going anywhere and that they are working towards a new deal with the promotion.

I completely understand where Oliveira is coming from. He’s won eight fights in a row and seven have been stoppages in the toughest division in the sport. However, that still might not matter at the end of the day.

Conor McGregor (22-4) and Dustin Poirier (26-6, 1 NC) are fighting at UFC 257. The winner of that fight will be fighting for the lightweight title no matter what in their next fight. Should McGregor win, the UFC is going to push for the rematch with Khabib Nurmagomedov (29-0).

Khabib is retired, but Dana White is going to try and convince him to fight one more time in the UFC this week. However, even if Khabib stays retired and McGregor wins, Oliveira will likely need to get one more win to get a UFC title shot.

While he’s certainly deserving, the promotion is also going to look at what’s the biggest fight they can make. McGregor – Oliveira doesn’t sell the way McGregor – Gaethje would. That said, I think Oliveira is going to have to settle for the UFC giving him Justin Gaethje.

If Do Bronx runs through Justin Gaethje, there’s no denying him. It’s a very tough position to be in, however, I don’t think he’s going to have another choice.

UFC: Can Dana White convince Khabib to fight one more time?

Dana White will finally get his chance to meet with the UFC‘s lightweight champion this week. White will meet with Khabib Nurmagomedov (29-0) this week on Fight Island where the two will talk about Khabib’s future.

We last saw Khabib back at UFC 254 when he demolished Justin Gaethje to retain his lightweight title. Following the fight, Khabib collapsed in the octagon and sobbed reflecting on the challenging year he’s had.

Nurmagomedov lost his father earlier in the year who was his lead trainer and his best friend. Khabib announced after the fight was over that he wouldn’t be fighting anymore without his father.

The UFC lightweight champion said he promised his mother that he would retire. With that, Khabib Nurmagomedov laid down his gloves and said he was walking away at a perfect 29-0.

However, Dana White isn’t ready to see Khabib walk away. White knows that Khabib’s father always wanted him to go out at 30-0. With that, the UFC President wants Khabib to fight one more time before hanging it up.

White had an interview yesterday with ESPN’s Brett Okamoto where he talked about it. He said, “I have no idea (how the meeting will go), but I think he should fight again. I’m going to press him as hard as I can for one more.”

Will the UFC lightweight champion return?

In my opinion, it’s going to be very tough for White to convince Khabib to return. Nurmagomedov has been very vocal that he doesn’t have any desire to fight Conor McGregor (22-4) or Dustin Poirier (26-6, 1 NC) for the second time.

Those two men headline UFC 257 and the winner is being looked at as the number one contender. White said in the interview that the biggest possible fight they could do is the Khabib – McGregor rematch should Conor win.

However, getting the lightweight champion to back out of retirement and accept that fight won’t be easy. I’ll say this, if anyone can convince someone of this, it would be Dana White.

In all my years following the sport, I’ve really only seen White come up short once when he’s this determined. That was of course the Fedor Emelianenko deal which of course was really dead in the water before it started.

This week will tell us a lot and I’m in the same camp White is in. I would love for the UFC to be able to put on the rematch between McGregor and Khabib should Conor win. I’m very curious to see the reports out of Fight Island this week.

UFC targeting Justin Gaethje – Charles Oliveira per Dana White

Last night the UFC President did a live Q&A for fans and subscribers of ESPN+. Dana White fielded a number of questions on a variety of topics surrounding the promotion. A fan asked him about what’s next for Justin Gaethje (22-3).

The former interim lightweight champion is coming off of a loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov (29-0) at UFC 254. Since then, it’s been relatively quiet on what would be next for The Highlight.

The speculation was that Gaethje would be fighting Michael Chandler (21-5) at UFC 257. However, as we’ve recently learned, Dan Hooker (20-9) is going to be tasked with being the first to welcome Chandler to the UFC. 

With those two booked against each other, White said they have an opponent in mind for Gaethje. White said that the UFC is working on Gaethje taking on Charles Oliveira (30-8, 1 NC) if all goes as planned.

UFC lightweight showdown

This is the perfect fight to make for the lightweight division. It’s also the fight that makes the most sense given the current landscape of 155. Conor McGregor (22-4) and Dustin Poirier (26-6, 1 NC) are headlining UFC 257 in a couple of weeks.

White said that the winner of that fight will be the number one contender. There had been speculation that the fight could be for the UFC lightweight title should Khabib Nurmagomedov completely vacate his title.

However, it appears that it will just be a title eliminator. Should Khabib stay retired, the winner of UFC 257 would likely take on the winner of this proposed matchup between Gaethje and Charles Oliveira.

Prior to the loss to Khabib, Gaethje had won four fights in a row and all of them came by knockout. Charles Oliveira is looking better than ever and he just picked up his eighth straight victory at UFC 256 over Tony Ferguson (25-5).

It appears that the UFC is putting together a little lightweight tournament. White said last week that in a perfect world, Khabib would fight one more time. If that happens, the winner of UFC 257 would get the shot at him.

If that were to happen, the winners of the Gaethje – Oliveira and Chandler – Hooker fights would likely fight. However, I believe that Khabib is likely to stay retired thus the winner of McGregor – Poirier will take on the winner of Gaethje – Oliveira for the UFC lightweight title.

Three Superfights the UFC can make in 2021

Conor McGregor, UFC

2021 is promising to be a big year for the UFC. The world’s leader in mixed martial arts had a very good 2020 despite the global pandemic. Now, the promotion is poised to capitalize and have an even bigger 2021.

They are starting their year with an incredible three-fight run on Fight Island ending with the rematch between Conor McGregor (22-4) and Dustin Poirier (26-6, 1 NC) at UFC 257. The UFC is starting out the year with a bang.

There are so many big matchups that the UFC is already talking about booking. You have Israel Adesanya (20-0) moving up to challenge Jan Blachowicz (27-8) at UFC 259. Jon Jones (26-1, 1 NC) is moving up to heavyweight to go for the UFC heavyweight title.

These are fights that are already set in stone. However, there are some major superfights that the UFC could attempt to make in 2021. These fights would depend on the fighters winning early in the year, but if they do, there’s a big opportunity for the promotion.

UFC Superfights in 2021

Khabib Nurmagomedov – Conor McGregor 2

Dana White recently said that the UFC will attempt to make this fight happen should McGregor win at UFC 257. What makes this fight hard to pull off is getting Khabib Nurmagomedov (29-0) to agree to it.

White is planning on talking with Khabib on Fight Island about his future. Khabib retired after he defended his title at UFC 254, however, White said that he’s going to try to convince him to come back.

Should McGregor win in January, there’s not a bigger fight the UFC could make in terms of dollar signs. McGregor is the biggest star in the sport, but Khabib is a big star on his own. The two men hate each other and a brawl ensued after their first fight.

In my opinion, they are going to get the chance to make this happen. I believe that McGregor will win at UFC 257, and then eyes will turn to the talks between White and Khabib. If Khabib agrees to it, it might be the biggest UFC PPV of all time.

Jon Jones – Israel Adesanya

There is no questioning that Khabib and McGregor would be the biggest PPV seller. However, the biggest superfight the UFC could make between two fighters in 2021 is the potential matchup between Jon Jones and Israel Adesanya.

Jones is considered to be the greatest fighter that the UFC has ever seen. Adesanya is looked at as the new-breed who is on his way to becoming the UFC’s biggest superstar. Stylebender is attempting to become a two-division champion at UFC 259.

These two men have long talked about fighter each other. Jones is currently preparing to fight for the heavyweight title in the summer. If Jones is able to win and Adesanya is able to win at UFC 259, the two men would control three titles.

There has never been a potential superfight where the champions of three combined divisions would face off. Combine that with the personal animosity and you have the makings for a massive fight that could take place at the end of 2021.

Amanda Nunes – Valentina Shevchenko 3

This might not be a superfight that everyone wants to see, but it’s sure one I want to see. UFC two-division champion, Amanda Nunes (20-4), taking on the UFC flyweight champion, Valentina Shevchenko (20-3), for a third time.

Both of these champions are so dominant in their divisions that nobody truly questions whether they will win their next fight or not. The debate is more centered around how they will win their fights.

These two have fought twice before with Nunes winning both. However, their fight at UFC 215 in 2017 was razor close. I’ve watched the fight a few times and I can see the argument for the judges giving it to either fighter.

The lack of challenges in their divisions is truly a testament to the dominance of the two champions. Their next challenges are set as Nunes will take on Megan Anderson while Shevchenko will fight former strawweight champion, Jessica Andrade.

Should both win, I think the UFC should seriously think about the trilogy. It would make all the sense in the world, and I don’t think there are UFC fans out there who would complain about seeing these two greats fight one more time.