Nurmagomedov retired from fighting after his father’s death, but the Russian was told to return to his UFC and fight Oliviera for the vacant lightweight belt
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UFC President Dana White has been ordered to bring Khabib Nurmagomedov out of retirement to face Charles Oliviera for the lightweight title.
Nurmagomedov retired from the fight after defending his 155-pound belt against Justin Gaethje for the last time in 2020. The Russian promised his mother he would not fight again after his father and longtime trainer Abdulmanap passed away following complications from Covid-19.
Despite White’s efforts to convince Nurmagomedov to keep fighting – and instigating a rematch with Conor McGregor – the Russian resigned last March and vacated his lightweight title. Oliveira became champion by defeating Michael Chandler at UFC 262.
UFC newcomer Natan Levy has now told White to order Nurmagomedov back to fight Oliveira, telling Freak MMA: “If I were a matchmaker, I would get Khabib to come out of retirement to fight Charles.”
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Levy’s comment comes after Oliveira was forced to vacate the lightweight belt after missing weight for his title defense against Gaethje at UFC 274. However, a Nurmagomedov vs. Oliveira clash is unlikely as Russian teammate Islam Makhachev saved his shot against ‘ Make Bronx’.
Nurmagomedov has insisted Makhachev must fight for the lightweight belt next and predicts he will beat Oliviera in less than three rounds. Following in Nurmagomedov’s footsteps at 155 pounds, Makhachev remains undefeated in his last 10 bouts. The 4th-ranked Russian was supposed to fight top contender Beneil Dariush in February, but the fight was called off.
UFC boss White said he still wants Makhachev to fight Dariush but wouldn’t rule out the Russian fighting Oliveira for the vacant belt after Joe Rogan urged him to make the fight. Oliveira believes the promotion must rebook Makhachev against Dariush to determine the next title challenger.
“I think the reality is that Makhachev has to fight Dariush first,” Oliveira told Trocacao Franca. “They both have to fight and then we will see who we fight or not. Makhachev is super tough and deserves all the respect in the world. Dariush is also super tough and has a great team.”
Makhachev has accused Oliveira of being “scared” to fight him after suggesting the Russian should fight Dariush to decide the next title challenger. He also mocked Oliveira for calling out Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz to fight the same night. Nurmagomedov has ruled out any chance of his returning to the sport, with the former UFC champion even turning down a $100 million payday to fight Floyd Mayweather last year.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/other-sports/mma/khabib-nurmagomedov-charles-oliveira-fight-26977088 Dana White said to order Khabib Nurmagomedov out of retirement to fight Charles Oliveira