Abu Dhabi could host Khabib-Gaethje fight in October
The UAE Capital has this Sunday successfully completed a month-long four-series UFC Fight Island events
Reigning UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov will be back in the octagon against Justin Gaethje on October 24, UFC president Dana White confirmed.
There were speculations about Khabib's future after the demise of his father and mentor Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov earlier this month. There were reports suggesting Khabib was considering retirement.
However, laying rumours to rest, White told CNN: "It's going to happen. I'll tell you right here right now. That fight is going to happen. Khabib versus Gaethje on October 24."
White had earlier told reporters that Abu Dhabi would be the frontrunner to host the title unification fight.
The UAE Capital has this Sunday successfully completed a month-long four-series UFC Fight Island events. The Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi has a five-year agreement with UFC to host one event per year.
The UFC Fight Island is in addition to that agreement and a main event is still pending, an official said last week.
"We are committed to our agreement with UFC and will support Dana and his team where possible to ensure the sport can continue safely during Covid-19. We believe we've achieved that with our dedicated UFC Fight Island 'safe zone' on Yas Island, which aims to deliver a safe event for all and protect the wider Abu Dhabi community," Saeed Al Saeed, Destination Marketing Director at DCT Abu Dhabi, said last week.
White has noted that under present circumstances, the MMA sport will be shuttling between headquarters in Las Vegas to Abu Dhabi. With travel restrictions still in place in the US, Abu Dhabi is set to host crowd favourite Khabib again.
The 31-year-old 'Eagle' with unbeaten 28-0 record hasn't fought since his bout against Dustin Poirier at UFC 242 last September in Abu Dhabi.
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