UFC 253 match card: Dana White has confirmed that the much-awaited Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Justin Gaethje will take place at UFC 253 in September for the Lightweight championship on Fight Island. According to UFC president Dana White, the match is still on the table as he awaits confirmation from the Russian champion.
Khabib’s father, Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov, was placed in a medically-induced coma after being admitted to the hospital in May in Moscow. He underwent emergency bypass surgery as doctors stabilised his condition. However, the MMA coach lost his battle for life last month to leave his family devastated.
‘The Eagle’ has not been heard from since. But White believes Nurmagomedov will be battling ‘The Highlight’ in two months’ time unless he hears otherwise.
He said: “I don’t think it’s off the table. I’m just waiting to hear from him. I’m not messing with Khabib. I’m leaving him alone until he’s ready to talk and letting him mourn and do what he has to do.
“I reached out to him the day of … I haven’t heard back from him since,” reported English News Daily, The Sun.
Khabib’s last fight was in Abu Dhabi in September 2019 when the unbeaten star defeated Dustin Poirier. Gaethje stepped in to replace the Dagestan native against Tony Ferguson at UFC 249. He beat the ‘Boogeyman’ via technical knockout to set up his shot at Nurmagomedov.