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Khabib Nurmagomedov will leave ‘Fight Island’ before Conor McGregor fights Dustin Poirier at UFC 257

Alex Pattle
·2-min read
 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Khabib Nurmagomedov will not stay on ‘Fight Island’ to watch old rival Conor McGregor take on fellow former opponent Dustin Poirier, UFC president Dana White has said.

Nurmagomedov, who retired with a perfect record of 29-0 after retaining his UFC lightweight title against Justin Gaethje in October, travelled to Abu Dhabi’s Yas Island last week to meet with White.

The pair discussed the Russian’s future, with White revealing on Saturday that Khabib might consider reversing his retirement if he is particularly impressed by either McGregor or Poirier in the main event of UFC 257 – or if either Dan Hooker or Michael Chandler catch his eye in the co-main event.

Nurmagomedov, who is cornering his cousin Umar on ‘Fight Island’ during Wednesday night’s card, previously defeated both McGregor and Poirier. ‘The Eagle’ retained his lightweight belt against McGregor in October 2018 and versus then-interim champion Poirier in September 2019, beating both fighters via submission.

And, while he will monitor the pair’s performances this weekend, as well as those of Hooker and Chandler, the Russian will not do so from within the Etihad Arena.

“He’s cornering on Wednesday and then he leaves,” White said.

“He leaves and goes to [Las] Vegas. So, I will have [UFC 257] and fly home on Sunday and I’ll see him again in Vegas.

“Those fights will have played out. He and I are going to hook up and go to dinner in Vegas and talk again, and we’ll make a decision.

“One thing that he did say is: “I’ll never hold up the division.”

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