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Five opponents for Khabib if he makes UFC return including Conor McGregor rematch and FINALLY facing Tony Ferguson

KHABIB NURMAGOMEDOV is set to have crunch talks with UFC president Dana White in the coming days over a potential return to the octagon.

The undefeated Russian retired from mixed martial arts last October after blitzing through Justin Gaethje at UFC 254.

Khabib Nurmagomedov announced his retirement from MMA last October[/caption]
UFC president Dana White is confident of luring Khabib Nurmagomedov back to the octagon[/caption]

But he’s set to meet White in Abu Dhabi to discuss the possibility of making one final venture to the cage.

White is confident of convincing The Eagle to fight again, although Nurmagomedov seems dead set on not returning.

But who will the lightweight champion end up fighting if White is successful?

Five men are in contention to be Nurmagomedov’s next opponent should he decide to fight one more time.

And SunSport is on hand to tell you who.


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Georges St-Pierre

It’s no secret that Nurmagomedov is desperate to share the octagon with Georges St-Pierre.

Russia’s first UFC champion has been campaigning for a fight with the hall-of-famer ever since he claimed the lightweight title in April 2018.

A legacy fight with the former two-division champion is the contest Nurmagomedov’s late father – Abdulmanap – wanted his son to close his career out on.

St-Pierre himself has expressed a desire to face the phenom, although his interest in taking the fight has seemingly waned.

Khabib Nurmagomedov’s late father wanted him to close out his career with a legacy fight with Georges St-Pierre[/caption]

Conor McGregor

Nurmagomedov may not like it, but a rematch with Conor McGregor is still the biggest fight available to him.

A staggering 2.4 million fight fans purchased their UFC 229 grudge match, which ended in an unforgettable and unsavoury brawl.

The prospect of a rematch between the pair has been on White’s mind ever since that fateful night at Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena. And what Dana wants, Dana normally gets.

An emphatic victory for McGregor in his UFC 257 showdown with Dustin Poirier could aid White’s long pursuit of a rematch between the sworn enemies.

But even then, he’ll be hard-pressed to convince Nurmagomedov to share the cage with his arch-rival again.

Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov took part in the biggest fight in UFC history[/caption]

Dustin Poirier

Just as a win at UFC 257 would see McGregor stake a huge claim for a rematch with Nurmagomedov, victory for Poirier would do exactly the same.

And if the former interim lightweight champion were to get the job done in devastating fashion, Nurmagomedov could be tempted to grant him a second crack at beating him.

Despite handily dealing with Poirier at UFC 242, Nurmagomedov still sees him as the benchmark in the division.

But more importantly for Poirier, Nurmagomedov holds him and his character in high regard. The same of which can’t be said for McGregor.

Dustin Poirier could entice Khabib Nurmagomedov to come out of retirement with a win over Conor McGregor[/caption]

Michael Chandler

The former Bellator lightweight champion is set to make his long-awaited debut in the co-main event of UFC 257, in which he’ll lock horns with New Zealand’s Dan Hooker.

And an emphatic win over the Hangman could put the 34-year-old – who has long been considered the best lightweight outside of the UFC – on Nurmagomedov’s radar.

Chandler is well aware of that and plans to put on a showcase of good old American wrestling to try to entice Nurmagomedov to face him.

UFC new-boy Michael Chandler is hoping to lure Khabib Nurmagomedov out of retirement[/caption]

Tony Ferguson

Five times! That’s how many times Tony Ferguson was booked to face Nurmagomedov.

Injuries, a botched weight cut and a global pandemic, however, scuppered the most-anticipated fight in the history of the lightweight division.

Ferguson’s form has dipped as of late, with the Ultimate Fighter season 13 winner losing his last two after rattling off 12 straight victories.

Getty Images
Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson were scheduled to fight five times[/caption]

But with a couple wins over top-ranked guys, he could put himself back in Nurmagomedov’s sights.

Although Ferguson is 0-2 in his last two outings, many still firmly believe his unorthodox style, in particular on the ground, would present Nurmagomedov with some serious problems.

Let’s hope the fight, or at the very least a grappling match between the pair, one day comes to fruition.

I mean, after all, Nurmagomedov did say he needs Ferguson’s name on his victim list to complete his ‘legacy’.

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