UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov may return to action sooner than expected, thanks to the Nevada Athletic Commission. On Wednesday, NAC executive director Bob Bennett confirmed that Khabib and his team will be getting their suspensions reduced by 35 days, further solidifying the champion’s return for UFC 242 in September against Dustin Poirier in Abu Dhabi.
Upon receiving the good news, Khabib’s management team immediately began to look at their possible matchups for the rest of year. According to manager Ali Abdelaziz, they are still expecting a fight against Georges St-Pierre to take place by the end of 2019.
I asked Khabib's manager Ali Abdelaziz how close the Poirier fight in Abu Dhabi is, after NSAC shortened his teammates' suspensions today. "We are close. Good news coming very soon ... And if all goes to plan, I think Khabib will fight Georges St-Pierre at the end of the year."— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) May 22, 2019
St-Pierre has been in Khabib’s radar for quite a while now. Prior to St-Pierre’s retirement announcement in February, “The Eagle” even went on to convince the former middleweight and welterweight champion to fight him instead, giving GSP the choice to either make it happen at 155 pounds, or at a catch weight at 160 pounds.
From his end, St-Pierre says the Khabib fight “just didn’t happen”, while branding the undefeated Dagestani as “the best fighter right now.”