Khabib Nurmagomedov has announced his retirement from the MMA world. After a slick submission win over Justin Gaethje, he has decided to keep his promise to his mother to have one last dance to honor his late father, Abdulmanap.

This leaves the UFC Lightweight title right for the taking. It is only a matter of time before a duo gets booked to fight for the vacated throne.

Dana White says McGregor/Poirier nearly done deal: "Conor McGregor has  never come out publicly and said 'I accept this fight' and then not fought"  – TheMacLife

One such matchup that is already in negotiations is the highly anticipated rematch between Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier. While the targeted Jan. 23 booking was originally thought to be a title eliminator, it just may be upgraded to a title fight in light of recent events.

This is the fight to make for the vacant lightweight title. Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier are now the only fighters in the top 5 to not be coming off a loss. While 7 fighters coming off losses have fought for the title in 2020, the track record is they all lost their title fight. Reyes, DC, Benavidez, Cruz, Aldo, Holloway, and Romero. It wouldn’t make complete sense to see Tony Ferguson, Dan Hooker or Justin Gaethje to challenge for the vacant title at 155.

Many MMA fans want to see “The Highlight” get an automatic title shot even after tonight’s loss. However, McGregor and Poirier seem like more logical options, considering the fact that they both have returned in impressive fashion since their neck-cranking losses to Khabib. If this is not enough, Poirier has already finished Gaethje, back in 2018.

Dustin Poirier TKO's Justin Gaethje in 'Fight of the Year' Performance at  UFC on FOX 29 | MMAnytt.com

There wouldn’t be much controversy of Dustin Poirier getting another title shot. He looked great in his ‘fight of the year’ candidate with Dan Hooker. So, I am not going to go into detail why he deserves a second shot at undisputed gold.

Across “The Diamond” lies the former champ-champ. I acknowledge Conor McGregor hasn’t had a win in the lightweight division since 2016. However, I would be a fool to not look at this fight from a business standpoint. This rematch with Poirier being for the vacant title doesn’t have to make sense, it just has to make CENTS.

Pinning the face of the fight game to compete for a title again would do amazing numbers. Especially against a showman like Poirier who always brings the fight. The name value between these two would bring in high revenue.

Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier are exchanging words on Twitter |  GiveMeSport

I do not see anybody else fighting for the title Khabib has left behind. With negotiations already in place before UFC 254, I believe Dana White will officially book the two former champions to face off for the undisputed title on January 23rd. The questions we should be asking? Where will it take place and will fan attendance finally return?

By Chris De Santiago

Founder and lead editor of MMA Island, former journalist at Asian Persuasion MMA.

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