UFC Might Strip Khabib Nurmagomedov of the Lightweight Title Ahead of UFC 257

Published 01/05/2021, 6:31 AM EST
ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – OCTOBER 25: Khabib Nurmagomedov of Russia celebrates his victory over Justin Gaethje in their lightweight title bout during the UFC 254 event on October 25, 2020 on UFC Fight Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)


Conor McGregor returns this month at UFC 257 against Dustin Poirier in an exciting lightweight bout. Ahead of the blockbuster clash on January 23rd, there is news breaking out that the UFC will strip its lightweight champion, Khabib Nurmagomedov, of the title.

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Nurmagomedov announced retirement after his successful title defense against Justin Gaethje at UFC 254, in October 2020. But UFC President Dana White was counting on the Dagestani to fight again.

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But it seems those expectations will not be met from Nurmagomedov’s side, and the bout between McGregor and Poirier will be for the belt. Apparently, UFC’s chatbot at Facebook broke the news.

This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise considering the lightweight division needs clarity. The division is full of hungry and surging contenders, and with the second coming of Conor McGregor, the promotion needs an active champion at the moment.

At the moment, though, Khabib is only looking for legacy-defining fights. And to be fair, he has taken out almost every top lightweight for the better part of the last decade, barring one Tony Ferguson.

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – OCTOBER 25: Khabib Nurmagomedov of Russia reacts after his submission victory over Justin Gaethje in their lightweight title bout during the UFC 254 event on October 25, 2020, on UFC Fight Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

A fight against any of his former opponents will not get his attention, understandably so. A rematch against McGregor would certainly rake in a fortune, but ‘The Eagle’ is not one to be persuaded by money only.

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Khabib Nurmagomedov will announce his fighting future later this month

The lightweight kingpin will meet up with UFC President Dana White later this month and will provide a clear decision about his fighting future. The duo will meet in Abu Dhabi, prior to the much-anticipated McGregor show at UFC 257.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – MARCH 06: Khabib Nurmagomedov interacts with media during the UFC 249 press conference at T-Mobile Arena on March 06, 2020, in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

Fans are curious to know the Russian’s next move. But if he decides to vacate eventually, it will be a big loss for the UFC. A fighter like Nurmagomedov will be missed sorely.

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Apratim Banerjee

829 articles

Apratim Banerjee is an MMA author for EssentiallySports and has been writing professionally for almost a year. Before his current gig, Apratim worked as a UFC writer for Sportskeeda. A long-time MMA fan, Apratim has developed a critical eye for the sport that has helped him transfer his vast knowledge to his copies and give hardcore and casual readers a detailed insight into the fights and fighters.

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