Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier will kick off the first pay per view event of 2021 at UFC 257. In the lead up to the fight many people wondered if the UFC would make the fight for the undisputed lightweight championship after Khabib Nurmagomedov retired following his win at UFC 254. Now there’s an answer to that question.
UFC president told ESPN that McGregor and Poirier will not being fighting for the title.
“If Khabib does retire, then whoever the highest ranked guy is at the time will end up facing Conor if Conor beats Poirier and would end up fighting for the title, I’m sure,” White said.
Of course White is hoping to have some clarity with the status of Nurmagomedov within the very near future as last week the news broke that White and Nurmagomedov will be having a meeting in Abu-Dhabi over the course of the next few days.
Nurmagomedov lost his father in 2020 due to complications from COVID-19. His father was also his coach and mentor and Nurmagomedov promised his mother that he wouldn’t fight again without his father.
White views Nurmagomedov has a star in the promotion and he would love to be able to convince the undefeated champion to continue to fight.
“As a promoter, you always want the best guys in the world. But when a guy wants to retire, he probably should,” White said. “But the difference with a guy like Khabib is that he’s been through so much and losing his dad is such a major blow to him. It was something that they did together and his dad wanted him to hit 30-0. But as a fight fan, I want Khabib to fight 10 more.”
The future of the lightweight division has a lot of playing out to do, but the arguably best division in the company at least has a blockbuster fight to look forward to with McGregor and Poirier rematching each other.
UFC 257 can be streamed live on ESPN pay per view on Jan 23. The pay per view will begin at 10 p.m. EST.