It seemed like Dana White was the only person still denying the idea that Khabib Nurmagomedov was indeed retired. However he has finally confirmed this to be the case, bidding the lightweight champ farewell.
When Khabib announced his retirement after beating Justin Gaethje in October, White was immediately hesitant to accept this decision. The UFC President maintained that the Dagestani was emotional, due to this being his first fight since the death of his father and coach, Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov.
As the months rolled on, Khabib maintained that his competitive days were behind him, and he was focusing on other business endeavors. Nevertheless, Dana refused to put the lightweight title up for grabs, or even an interim title in spite of the circumstances.
Dana White Finally Concedes
Now it seems that Dana White has finally been convinced that Khabib Nurmagomedov is retiring. After a recent meeting with former UFC owner Lorenzo Fertita, Khabib expressed his intent to meet with the UFC bossman yet again, and that meeting occurred.
Dana posted a picture of he and Khabib, apparently from this meeting, sharing it to his Instagram. It was here, that the UFC President finally admitted that Nurmagomedov was in fact retired, wishing him well in his future ventures.
“29-0 it is. He is 💯 officially retired. It was incredible to watch you work @khabib_nurmagomedov thank you for EVERYTHING and enjoy whatever is next my friend.”
Charles Oliveira vs Michael Chandler Set For Vacant Title
Shortly after this post, Dana White also revealed that he had a fight planned for the newly vacant lightweight title. To the surprise of many, it was not Dustin Poirier, who had the vote of the larger MMA fanbase.
Instead, Dana told ESPN that the new champion will come from the winner of a fight between Charles Oliveira and Michael Chandler. This contest is set to take place at UFC 262, on May 15th.
“Acknowledging Khabib’s retirement, Dana White tells @bokamotoESPN that Charles Oliveira and Michael Chandler will fight for the vacant lightweight championship at UFC 262 on May 15 “
Acknowledging Khabib's retirement, Dana White tells @bokamotoESPN that Charles Oliveira and Michael Chandler will fight for the vacant lightweight championship at UFC 262 on May 15 🏆 pic.twitter.com/tHCZz2TQqj
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) March 19, 2021
This is obviously massive news from Dana White, and adds to an already stacked run of events in May. It is good to see him finally accept the decision that Khabib expressed many moths ago, and let the lightweight division move on.
What do you think of this new matchup for the UFC’s lightweight title?