According to UFC president Dana White, lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov’s decision to return to the octagon will depend on what he sees from the lightweights competing at UFC 257.
White met with ‘The Eagle’ before the UFC on ABC 1 prelims and spoke with broadcaster Jon Anik before the main card began on ABC.
“His words to me were, ‘I’m gonna watch this fight,’ White said to Anik. “He said, ‘I would never tie up the division, hold the belt, and keep the belt away from anybody else. If these guys do something spectacular, show me something spectacular, and make me want to come back and fight. So I have the feeling that if somebody delivers, it could be on the co-main event or the main event, and like I said he thought Oliveira looked good (against Tony Ferguson) … If these guys can do something special, Khabib will fight them.”
Nurmagomedov, 32, defeated Justin Gaethje at UFC 254 in October 2020 for his 29th victory and retired undefeated after the bout. Meanwhile, No. 3 Charles Oliveira (30-8-0, 1NC) stunned Tony Ferguson at UFC 256 in December.
So now, UFC 257 will have some eagle eyes watching for greatness from the lightweight division.