Dana White, the UFC president, was captured on tape persuading Khabib to accept a rematch.
Dana White is looking forward to seeing Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov go at it again.
Conor McGregor will make his first appearance in the Octagon in over a year at UFC 257 on Saturday night. The controversial Irishman will face Dustin Poirier in a rematch of their 2014 fight, in which McGregor won by technical knockout in the first round.
The 32-year-old will be looking for his 23rd career victory over his American opponent, who bounced back from a setback seven years ago to become the interim UFC lightweight champion in 2019, only to lose it five months later to Khabib Nurmagomedov.
If McGregor defeats Poirier a second time, a rematch with the undefeated Russian is expected later this year.
In 2017, Khabib dominated their highly-anticipated fight, pounding The Notorious for the first 15 minutes before submitting him in the fourth round for a surprise victory.
He announced his retirement from mixed martial arts in October, shortly after defending his title against Justin Gaethje, but it has been rumoured that he would return for one last fight.
UFC president Dana White has been the most outspoken supporter of a rematch between Khabib and McGregor, with the 51-year-old eager to stage what may be the biggest bout in the organization’s history.
White began negotiations with Khabib when the two met in Abu Dhabi ahead of the Fight Island 7 event earlier this month, as part of his relentless pursuit of the prospective bout.
The UFC heavyweight champion has subsequently crossed paths with the 29-0-0 lightweight champion at a UAE Warriors event, where the two were seen conversing.
White’s desire to persuade Khabib to fight again was evident in a short video footage in which the former can be heard pushing the latter to carefully evaluate the financial implications of such an event.
“This [McGregor’s] fight with Poirier is trending bigger than the fight with you and Conor on PPV,” White said Khabib when the two were watching a bout in Abu Dhabi.
“Imagine what you and Conor would do if they got into another f*****g brawl. Just a thought… That’s all I’m saying!”
Despite White’s enthusiasm, Khabib recently reaffirmed his decision to retire, citing that a return to the. “Brinkwire News in Condensed Form.”