After seemingly several months of pursuit and business dinners, UFC president Dana White took to social media to officially set it in stone. Dana deemed Lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov to be officially retired and thanked him for everything. Nurmagomedov also took to social media to confirm Dana’s statement, thanked him and the UFC, his sparring partners and all his fans. Khabib expressed his gratitude towards the sport and wished that the people would understand his decision to retire.
While Khabib’s legacy and dominance is undeniable, it is not in the nature of the sport to be patient. While Khabib’s career will be reminisced upon in the many decades to come, it is undeniably the time to move on. Khabib leaves behind a vacant lightweight title and a shark infested division full of contenders ready to pounce at the opportunity. And the UFC seems to be ready for this predicament.
Not long after Nurmagomedov’s retirement became official, the UFC were ready with a title fight between the #3 and #4 ranked contenders, Charles Oliveira and Michael Chandler, respectively. Charles Oliveira comes in hot off a three round beatdown of Tony Ferguson and Chandler of course announced his UFC arrival in spectacular fashion after brutally knocking out Dan Hooker in the first round at UFC 257. The fight is set to take place at UFC 262 in Houston. This is of course, the second time this fight has been attempted to be booked for the UFC, who reportedly offered the fight to Oliveira on a week’s notice which was rejected.
This of course raises a few questions. What about Justin Gaethje and the UFC’s plans to book him for a fight with Chandler? Wasn’t Dustin Poirer next in line for a title shot?
Well, Dustin Poirer reportedly expressed time and time again, his disinterest in a title shot and his interest in the trilogy fight with Conor Mcgregor who he knocked out brutally in January. Gaethje meanwhile broke the silence on being left as the odd man out on twitter where he stated that he woke up to train for the expected fight with Michael Chandler. However, he didn’t seem to be in low spirits, stating that he enjoyed the feeling and had a good sparring practice.