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Dana White: Khabib is still Lightweight champion, UFC has not moved on

UFC 223: Press Conference Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

It’s been four months since Khabib Nurmagomedov announced his retirement from mixed martial arts (MMA), but he is still technically the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Lightweight champion.

That’s because company President, Dana White, has been trying his hardest to convince “The Eagle” to return for at least one more fight in an effort to leave the fight game with a perfect 30-0 record, which would include 14 straight wins inside the Octagon.

Still, Nurmagomedov has stood firm in his stance that fighting is not in his near future and even urged the promotion to move the 155-pound division ahead without him as champion, going as far as to say Dustin Poirier deserves to lead the way. Despite Khabib’s suggestion, White and Co. have no plans to vacate the title.

“No, we have not,” White told COMPLEX as far as moving on from Khabib goes. “Khabib is the champion. Khabib’s coming to Vegas. He and I are going to go to dinner and talk and see what’s next.”

In a previous interview with RT Sport, Khabib did confirm a looming dinner with White in the near future, but said it’s nothing more than two acquaintances getting together for a meal, something he says he does with White whenever he visits Las Vegas.

According to “The Eagle,” it’s the media that insists on making their sit-downs more than what they really are. Of course, White saying they “will discuss what’s next” only adds fuel to the fire. Nevertheless, if White broaches the subject of Khabib’s return once more and is met with resistance again, it could be the final blow to his hopes and could finally prompt him to vacate the title.

Which would make more than a few Lightweight contenders very, very happy.

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