Is Khabib Nurmagomedov Returning to Challenge Leon Edwards for the Welterweight Title at UFC 300?

Rumors are circulating that 'The Eagle' could be in training camp for a comeback at the UFC's massive milestone event on April 13

Khabib Nurmagomed And Leon Edwards For Ufc 300
Courtesy of @UFCNews on X

Could we see Khabib Nurmagomedov return to the Octagon to challenge welterweight world champion Leon Edwards at UFC 300? 

As we march closer to the promotion’s next big milestone event on April 13,  Dana White is beginning to round out the highly anticipated event with a plethora of exciting matchups. Recently, the UFC CEO announced the addition of a lightweight title eliminator between Charles Oliveira and Arman Tsarukyan and a bantamweight clash between former champions Cody Garbrandt and Deiveson Figueiredo. 

But the one fight fans are chomping at the bit to learn about is the main event. With many of the promotion’s titleholders stars already scheduled for events ahead of UFC 300 and Conor McGregor not expected back until the summer, there seems to be a lack of top-tier talent available to headline such a historic night. 

Speaking on his YouTube channel, former three-time title challenger Chael Sonnen offered up a bombshell of a rumor, suggesting that UFC Hall of Famer Khabib Nurmagomedov could be gearing up for a return at UFC 300 to challenge Leon Edwards for the welterweight crown. 

“Coach Javier Mendez, owner and leader of the American Kickboxing Academy, came out in an interview and said that Khabib is back training with me,” Sonnen said. “He said, ‘Khabib always goes to practice, but he only trains with me when he’s getting ready for a fight.’ And that is all I know.”

Sonnen Believes There is a Reason Why the UFC Hasn’t Announced Leon Edwards vs. Belal Muhammad

Sonnen quickly began speculating as to why ‘The Eagle’ would go back to work with his AKA coach, suggesting that a comeback at UFC 300 would be a hell of a good reason to do so. 

“There is some reason that Leon versus Belal did not get made,” Sonnen continued. “It was expected and it was planned,” claimed Sonnen. “Something became available. This is nothing more than a rumor but it’s a rumor that came from coach Mendez who’s training him. Who says, ‘I don’t train him unless it’s for a fight.’ It’s fascinating.”

With Belal Muhammad recently revealing that he would be venturing to Dagestan, many assumed that is where he would begin training for an inevitable title clash with Leon Edwards. However, the UFC has not announced the bout, leaving many to speculate that the Las Vegas-based promotion has something bigger up its sleeve. 

“You know he’s not going to come back at 55 [lightweight], and the very first association went, of course, to Canada,” Sonnen said. “Of course, it went to Georges St-Pierre. And that sure would be a super-fight, but how do you put on top of the bill a non-title when it’s your biggest bill that you’ve ever booked? It’s an interesting situation.

“There is a reason that Belal and Leon isn’t booked and that might come around, but if that comes around that’s because the reason I speak of fell out. But there is a reason. Khabib is training for a reason. Khabib is not fighting at 155 pounds ever again and Dana’s not putting on UFC 300 without a title on top of the bill.”

After defeating Al Iaquinta for the vacant lightweight title at UFC 223, Nurmagomedov went on to defend the title three times, finishing Conor McGregor, Dustin Poirier, and Justin Gaethje before announcing his retirement from the sport in 2020. ‘The Eagle’ closed out his career at 29-0.

Could we see Nurmagomedov come back looking for his 30th career win and a shiny new piece of UFC gold this spring?

Watch the full video below:

Published on January 12, 2024 at 9:39 pm
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