- Khabib Nurmagomedov will fight Dustin Poirier on September 7 in Abu Dhabi, according to UFC president Dana White.
- The fight is Nurmagomedov’s first since defeating Conor McGregor in October 2018, after which the champion jumped the cage and started a brawl that earned him a nine-month suspension.
- While Nurmagomedov has been on the sidelines, Poirier has stepped up to dominate the lightweight division, winning his past five fights and the interim title.
- White said that depending on how the fight in September played out, a rematch between Nurmagomedov and McGregor in the future was still possible.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Khabib Nurmagomedov’s next fight is officially set.
According to UFC president Dana White, Nurmagomedov will take on interim lightweight champion Dustin Poirier this September in Abu Dhabi. The fight will take place Saturday, September 7, and is the first of a new deal that White’s company has made to bring a title fight to Abu Dhabi for the next five years.
“We told Dustin he’d get the shot,” White told ESPN. “We didn’t know what Khabib’s plans were – he’s ready to fight.”
Nurmagomedov has not fought since retaining his lightweight championship against McGregor in October 2018. After forcing McGregor to tap in the fourth round, Nurmagomedov jumped the cage and started a post-fight brawl that ended with him earning a nine-month suspension.
In Nurmagomedov’s absence from the division, Poirier has stepped up to win the interim lightweight championship, taking the title in April after defeating Max Holloway by unanimous decision in five rounds. Poirier has won five straight fights dating back to 2017, excluding a no-contest that he avenged against Eddie Alvarez, and has just two losses on his record since 2013, one of which came by knockout at the hands of McGregor.
The September fight means that McGregor will have to wait his turn if he hopes to secure a rematch against Nurmagomedov. The Irish fighter briefly teased retirement after his loss last year, but has since rescinded the announcement, and has been attempting to goad Nurmagomedov into accepting another fight.
White indicated that the rematch was more than possible – an unsurprising answer, given that the fight would have the potential to set revenue records for UFC.
“He’s training,” White said of McGregor. “We’ll watch how this whole thing plays out with these fights, and see where Conor fits in and what he wants to do next.”
Asked if he could imagine the rematch coming to fruition, White told ESPN, “I could. I absolutely could. Conor wants that fight.”
- Read more from Tyler Lauletta:
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.