Khabib’s manager insists Justin Gaethje bout will still happen in 2020

MMAWeekly.com Staff
MMA Weekly
Khabib Nurmagomedov UFC 242 weigh-in scrum in Abu Dhabi
Khabib Nurmagomedov UFC 242 weigh-in scrum in Abu Dhabi

Khabib Nurmagomedov is not retiring as some rumors in Russia might have suggested. He will be back in the Octagon by the ned of the year.

"Khabib is not retiring. We have some goals to accomplish. You will see him before the end of the year. Dana (is) talking and me talking to the matchmakers, we're trying to set a date," said Ali Abdelaziz, Khabib's manager, in an interview with TMZ Sports. "And I'm sure Dana is going to let everybody know when is Khabib gonna fight. We have a blockbuster main event, him vs. Justin Gaethje, two of the best lightweights in the world today."

Khabib and Gaethje were originally slated to meet in September to unify the lightweight and interim lightweight titles. But that was before Khabib's father, Abdulmanap passed away from health complications after having contract COVID-19.

As of now, it has been unclear what the path forward would be for Khabib. UFC president Dana White has said that he is going to give his champion all the time he needs to grieve the loss of his father. But Abdelaziz insists that rumors of Khabib calling it quits after the death of his father are untrue.

"Is a lot of fake news coming out of Russia. Like Donald Trump says, it's fake news. If you don't hear it from me or Khabib or from Dana, it's fake news. We are the source."

Abdelaziz, however, was not in a position to say when Khabib might return to fight Gaethje, only that it will happen some time later this year. He did commit to the idea that Gaethje is going to wait for Khabib as well, and would not, as other rumors suggested, fight Conor McGregor, who is currently retired.

"This is Dana White's job, he is the promoter. I don't want to speak on his behalf, but you will see Khabib before the end of the year. You will see Khabib and Justin fighting before the end of the year," said Abdelaziz.

"Justin said no. Khabib told me tell Justin to go fight Conor. Justin said no."

(Video courtesy of TMZSports)

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