Reports had been circling that we could see Khabib face off against McGregor again. This was being pushed by the UFC, as they aimed to get the pair to coach against each other in the return of the ultimate fighter. But this has quickly been stopped in its tracks, with Khabib confirming this will not be taking place. Khabib even stated that he would not do it for UFC ownership or $5 billion. This gives a clear message that it now appears very unlikely that we will even see the pair face off again in the UFC, despite McGregor continuing to push for the rematch.
Even if they give me $5 billion — even if they give me the UFC — I [would] never do this.”@TeamKhabib won’t give Conor McGregor “good attention” by coaching TUF against him 🚫 (via @bokamotoESPN) pic.twitter.com/SVOI2YNCv3
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) October 13, 2020
For Khabib, it is now all about his defence of the lightweight belt, as he takes on interim champion Justin Gaethje at UFC 254. As expected, he heads into the bout as the betting favourite, which is usually the case. Fans have been using the coral sign up offer, with him available at a general 1/3 to pick up the victory. Despite this, Gaethje still continues to be supported to pull of the shock at 5/2 and also brings in an impressive record, which is why it sets up for such a fascinating contest. The bout will of course be headlining the card on Saturday 24th October on fight island. This is located on Yas island, Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates.
Who do you think leaves with the lightweight strap? 🏆
— UFC (@ufc) October 8, 2020
Khabib will be looking to extend his remarkable unbeaten record of 28 wins without defeat. He has been so dominant throughout his career, which is why he is the pound for pound best in many people’s eyes, despite sitting second behind Jon Jones in the official UFC rankings. He will also be making his second appearance in nearly two years, since his McGregor victory but will be expected to continue his dominant reign.
Justin Gaethje has been much more active and has earned himself a shot at the title, following his incredible stoppage of Tony Ferguson at UFC 249. This meant a fourth victory in succession and extended his record to 22 wins, with just two defeats. Gaethje could just be the biggest threat to Khabib in his career, so it sets up for a fascinating bout.