It was speculated that Khabib Nurmagomedov would take on Justin Gaethje at UFC 253 in September. Expected to return in September, Khabib Nurmagomedov will take on a new opponent in the form of Justin Gaethje as he steps in to defend the UFC lightweight championship. Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Tony Ferguson was pulled out due to coronavirus. Both the fighters were scheduled to headline UFC 248 back in April. Justin Gaethje took the fight on short notice and took on Tony Ferguson at UFC 249. Justin Gaethje played a smart, technical fight, and dominated Ferguson throughout the five rounds. Gaethje won the fight via 5th round TKO, and left the octagon as the interim lightweight champion.
However, Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Justin Gaethje hasn’t been made official so far. The sudden demise of Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov has left the Nurmagomedov family devasted. UFC President Dana White in a recent media interaction shared his prayers and thoughts with the family. In the process, he also updated the fight fans about the possibility of Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Justin Gaethje.
Khabib Nurmagomedov set to return in September?
“I don’t think it’s off the table. I’m just waiting to hear from him. I’m not messing with Khabib.”
Dana White is confident that UFC 253 will most likely go as per the plan. Justin Gaethje has brilliant wrestling credentials, and has been looked at as the fighter to finally dethrone Khabib Nurmagomedov. Gaethje also carried enormous power in his hands. With a sleep style of his own, Gaethje is an excellent puncher, and a seasoned wrestler.
“I’m leaving him alone until he’s ready to talk and letting him mourn and do what he has to do. White continued, “I reached out to him the day of. I haven’t heard back from him since.”
While the UFC hasn’t heard back from Nurmagomedov after his father’s demise, there are reasons to believe that the fight will take place as per the plan.