The UFC wants to book Khabib Nurmagomedov’s lightweight title unification bout against Dustin Poirier in Abu Dhabi on September 7th. The problem with that? Khabib has stuck by his friends and teammates, Abubakar Nurmagomedov and Zubaira Tukhugov, after they were all suspended for their actions following Khabib’s UFC 229 win over Conor McGregor. Khabib is eligible to return in July, but he says he won’t fight until his teammates are off suspension as well - which was scheduled to be in October.
Luckily for the UFC, the Nevada State Athletic Commission has come to an agreement with Abubakar and Tukhugov to shorten their suspensions by 35 days - which falls in line very nicely for Khabib vs. Poirier.
NSAC executive director Bob Bennett confirmed to ESPN that reps for the two fighters reached out to them regarding the reduced ban, offering to do community service in exchange. They were never offered the opportunity for a reduced sentence originally because community service was not offered in the original agreement. Each man will do 10 hours of service, focusing on “constructive work with youth and could include self-defense and anti-bullying messages”.
This will allow Khabib to stick to what he said about his teammates, and still please the UFC since they’ll have a big-ticket fight for UFC 242. That bout is nowhere near official as of yet, but you can probably expect it to be announced in the coming weeks.