The news was up in the air for a while and now it has been confirmed. Khabib Nurmagomedov will be present at the UFC 257, where the main event is McGregor-Poirier. The two arci-rivals may be again face-to-face in the backstage of the UFC Fight Island in Abu Dhabi.
Khabib Nurmagomedov (29-0-0) has finally confirmed his presence at UFC 257. Obviously, Khabib will not appear as fighter but he will be involved in providing technical support to his cousin, Umar Nurmagomedov, who will be one of the fighters in the event. In addition, after the recent investment of Khabib, it seems that the new owner of the Eagle Fighting Championship (formerly known as Gorilla Fighting Championship) is keen to sit down around the table with the UFC president, Dana White, in order to discuss potential synergies between the two MMA promotions. In addition, Dana White has always rejected the idea that Khabib is retired for good. As such, we must believe that the big boss of UFC will try once again to convince the Dagestani fighter to have one last fight.
In the same night, as main event, Conor McGregor (22-4-0) will fight on the Octagon Dustin Poirier (26-6-0, 1 NC) in a bout which has been already confirmed by the UFC not been valid for the Lightweight belt, which is still in the firm hands of Khabib for the time being. However, the fight will have the purpose of shaping the lightweight division in view of a final clash for the belt between the two highest ranked fighters.
As a result, the two long time arci-rivals shall have a chance to be face to face in person for the first time after the fight held in Las Vegas on 7 October 2018 when Khabib demolished McGregor in 4 rounds confirming himself as absolute champion of the lightweight division. Considering that McGregor is supposedly focused on the fight against Poirier, any eventual controversies would have to wait for the post-fight.
In case of McGregor’s win, we doubt that the Irishman would miss a chance to tease Khabib in the press conference or to repeat the insane actions we have seen in the past. His media exposure is a crucial part of the character and this could be a terrific opportunity. You guys in Abu Dhabi better start to lock down the dollies in the city.