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ABU DHABI – UFC president Dana White doesn’t expect his upcoming meeting with UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov to be complicated.
According to White, his pitch to get Nurmagomedov (29-0 MMA, 13-0 UFC) to return to fighting will be quick. He’s not anticipating an argument, nor is he going to beg Nurmagomedov to do something he doesn’t want to.
“It’s going to be a five-minute conversation,” White told MMA Junkie on Wednesday. “It’s yes or no. It’s yes or no.”
The last time Nurmagomedov spoke with White about fighting was right after his UFC 254 submission win over Justin Gaethje – and his subsequent in-cage retirement speech.
In White’s eyes, Nurmagomedov was caught up in the emotion of the moment. Now that the dust has settled, the UFC boss is confident Nurmagomedov will choose to fight again.
“When I left Abu Dhabi last time, and he and I were texting, we went back and forth on why I think he should keep fighting,” White said. “He was super emotional coming out of that fight. He’s had time now to rest, think about it, (and) all the other things. This is going to be a five-minute conversation. … I think he’ll fight, but we’ll see. It’s not going to be an argument or a lengthy conversation. It’s going to be a ‘yes’ or ‘no.'”
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Nurmagomedov, 32, sits one fight away from a perfect 30-0 record. White has indicated he wants Nurmagomedov vs. Conor McGregor to be the milestone 30th attempt, should the Irishman beat Dustin Poirier at UFC 257.
The UFC’s third stint on “Fight Island” kicks off Saturday with UFC on ABC 1, headlined by featherweights Max Holloway and Calvin Kattar. On Wednesday, Jan. 20, UFC on ESPN 20 takes place with a welterweight main event between Michael Chiesa and Neil Magny.
The three-event stretch concludes Saturday, Jan. 23 with UFC 257 and a pay-per-view headliner rematch between McGregor and Poirier.