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UFC 257: Dustin Poirier vs Conor McGregor for Lightweight title if Khabib is retired?

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UFC 242: Khabib v Poirier Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Lightweight champion, Khabib Nurmagomedov, added further mystery surrounding his retirement earlier today, relaying a message to UFC President, Dana White, which simply read, “see you soon.”

It could be nothing ... or everything.

White has been adamant that he would not vacate the 155-pound title despite Khabib’s decision to retire after UFC 254, saying that he strongly believes “The Eagle” will come back to try and reach the 30-0 mark. He also said no interim titles would be created in the meantime.

And that’s bad news for Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor since “The Diamond” feels the duo — who are set to run it back at UFC 257 on Jan. 23, 2021 — should be competing for the unified division strap if Khabib has no plans on ever fighting again.

“I think if Khabib’s retired and not coming back, then I’m next in line for the title shot, and this could be the title fight,” Poirier told MMA Junkie. “This could be for the undisputed belt. I think that’d make sense. Dana’s saying one thing, Khabib’s saying another. Who knows what the truth is? Time will tell.”

But if Khabib sticks to his guns in the coming months, UFC could very well decide to turn the Poirier-McGregor rematch into a title fight at the final hour. At the very least, the two talented combatants could be fighting for the right to face Khabib again if he decides to resume his dominant career.