Dana White and Khabib Nurmagomedov. Photos Mark J. Rebilas, Per Häljestam-USA TODAY Sports

UFC boss reveals return timeline for Khabib Nurmagomedov

"Khabib will be back..."

We now have a time period laid out for the return of UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov.

In a surprising turn of events, the UFC seem to be up and running again. Yesterday the promotion announced three events, taking place in Florida in the month of May. While additional plans have not yet been laid out, more events are expected to take place. UFC 249, taking place on May 9th, will feature an interim lightweight title bout between Tony Ferguson and Justin Gaethje. According to UFC president Dana White, the winner will get a shot at undisputed lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov upon his return.

“The Ferguson vs. Gaethje fight is one of the most violent fights you will see,” White told ESPN on Instagram Live. “I can guarantee that. This fight is going to be incredible. The winner will fight Khabib for the title. This is for the interim. 100 percent (the winner fights Khabib).”


This obviously begs the question: When will Nurmagomedov return? The Dagestani is a devout muslim, who has committed to not fighting during the holy period of Ramadan. The global Covid-19 pandemic has also put the breaks on the UFC return of many fighters. Nurmagomedov is locked down in his native Russia at the moment, though hopes are that he will be able to leave within the coming weeks.

According to White, we can expect the lightweight titles to be unified in the fall, either in September or October.

“Khabib will be back in September or October,” White said.

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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 MMAnytt.com