We all know the story by now. Stuck in Dagestan, Russia, UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov couldn’t travel to the USA to take on Tony Ferguson at UFC 249 due to the ongoing COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
UFC 249, of course, was later postponed. It will now take place on 9 May, held behind closed doors in Jacksonville, Florida.
That event’s headline fight now sees Ferguson take on Justin Gaethje for the interim UFC lightweight championship; a fight UFC President Dana White has described as “one of the most violent fights you will see,” during an Instagram Live session with ESPN. [H/T MMA Junkie]
With an interim title now up for grabs, fans asked White if the winner of that UFC 249 main event will take on Nurmagomedov next.
“I can guarantee that,” White said. “This fight is going to be incredible. The winner will fight Khabib for the title.”
Given the uncertainty that has engulfed the sporting world amid an almost-worldwide lockdown, it’s unclear how the rest of 2020 will pan out in MMA.
Nurmagomedov is currently observing Ramadan, meaning he will not be available to compete until the summer is over. White is confident Khabib will be looking to return to action as soon as he can.
“Khabib will be back in September or October,” White said confidently.