Dana White set to reveal outcome of Khabib Nurmagomedov talks over future at Fight Night in Abu Dhabi

UFC president met with lightweight champion at UAE Warriors 15 on Friday for the first time since his shock retirement in October

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Khabib Nurmagomedov’s immediate future in the UFC will become much clearer late on Saturday, with UFC president Dana White confirming he will reveal the outcome of their Abu Dhabi meet during the Fight Island opener at Etihad Arena.

White had been teasing their Friday get-together at UAE Warriors 15 in the capital, where the pair met for the first time since Nurmagomedov’s shock retirement in October.

The lightweight champion, whose father died in July, defeated Justin Gaethje at UFC 254 – also in Abu Dhabi – before announcing inside the octagon that he had promised his mother he would not continue competing. Aged 32, Nurmagomedov's professional record stands at 29-0.

On Saturday afternoon, White took to social media to set a midnight deadline local time for his own announcement, which will take place before the main card of UFC Fight Night: Max Holloway vs Calvin Kattar.

That event kicks off the three-show Fight Island at the newly opened Etihad Arena. The series, the promotion’s third in Abu Dhabi since July, concludes on January 24 with Conor McGregor against Dustin Poirier at UFC257.

White said: “I met with Khabib Nurmagomedov last night, and today at three o’clock on the east coast [US time], on ABC the network, I’m going to talk about his decision, and how it’s going to impact the Poirier-McGregor fight next weekend, and the co-main event in the lightweight division.”

White’s comments soon had the world of mixed martial arts speculating wildly, with some suggesting Nurmagomedov would be vacating his belt – and thus elevate Poirier-Mcgregor to a title fight.

That could in turn mean that the co-main event at UFC 257, the lightweight clash between debutant Michael Chandler and Dan Hooker, could become a No 1-contender bout.