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Dana White to meet Khabib, expects former champ to come out of retirement

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Dana White is expected to meet with Khabib Nurmagomedov in the coming weeks.

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Former UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov is officially retired, but Dana White is adamant that the undefeated Dagestani will return to the octagon for his 30th fight.

Nurmagomedov retired following his submission win over Justin Gaethje at UFC 254, which saw ‘The Eagle’ finish ‘The Highlight’ with a triangle choke in the second round to retain his lightweight title and extend his professional record to a perfect 29-0.

White, however, wants Khabib to retire at 30-0 and is determined to persuade the 32-year-old Russian to make a comeback.

The UFC president revealed plans to meet with Nurmagomedov in Abu Dhabi ‘sometime soon’, claiming that he believes Khabib still has the desire to compete.

“We’re going to meet in Abu Dhabi,” White said at the UFC Vegas 15 post-fight press conference (h/t Abhinav Kini of Low Kick MMA). “Sometime soon. I’ll let you know when you need to know.”

“I do,” White said when asked if he feels Nurmagomedov will come out of retirement. “He hasn’t said that to me, but I do.”

If Nurmagomedov does have a change of heart, the UFC veteran will likely take on the winner of the proposed rematch between Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor at UFC 257. Khabib holds submission wins over both men, having submitted ‘The Notorious’ at UFC 229 and finished ‘The Diamond’ with a rear-naked choke in the UFC 242 main event.