Photo: © Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports, Per Häljestam

Dana White sets date for Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Justin Gaethje

"It's going to happen, tell you right here right now. That fight is going to happen..."

It’s official: Khabib Nurmagomedov and Justin Gaethje will face off in a lightweight title unification bout. It was none other than UFC president Dana White who revealed the news to CNN. The fight will take place on October 24th, as of now the location has not been announced, though there is a good chance that the title fight goes down on Fight Island.

The fight was initially planned for September 12th, though that was altered due to the death of Nurmagomedov’s father and mentor Abdulmanap.

“It’s been very rough on him,” White told CNN Sport. “His father was a hero to him, he loved his father, they had a very close relationship and it was very hard on him.”

However now it stands confirmed that Nurmagomedov vs Gaethje will happen this year after all.

“It’s going to happen, tell you right here right now. That fight is going to happen,” White said.


Nurmagomedov has ruled the lightweight division since winning the title in 2018. The Dagestani won the title after defeating Al Iaquinta, and he then defended his title against arch rival Conor McGregor. In his last outing, Nurmagomedov dominated Dustin Poirier, winning via third round submission.

Gaethje looks better and more controlled than ever, and currently rides a four fight winning streak. He began by knocking out James Vick, then followed up with additional stoppages of Edson Barboza and Donald Cerrone. Gaethje ended up replaced Nurmagomedov at UFC 249, defeating Tony Ferguson and winning the interim title in the process.

Who wins the title unification: Khabib Nurmagomedov or Justin Gaethje?

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With roots in muay thai and as an avid combat sports fan, Sebastian Vendel-Martinez grew up while the MMA scene was blossoming in Sweden. He became part of the MMAnytt team in 2012 and has gone on to become one of the most prominent MMA reporters in Scandinavia. Currently he continues to work as a writer, reporter, video producer/editor and head editor for